THE Democratic Alliance has shown Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille the door and her membership rescinded from the party. The announcement was made on Tuesday with the chairperson of the DA’s federal executive James Selfe leading the charge.
The DA cited clause 126.96.36.199 in its constitution, that says if a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign, then their membership ceases immediately.
DA federal council deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone and Selfe said De Lille made such utterances during an interview on a radio interview with Eusebius McKaiser.
“Accordingly, the federal executive resolved last night to endorse the finding of the (party’s) federal legal commission that her membership had ceased as of April 26, the date of the 702 interview. We have informed Ms De Lille and City manager of this fact,” said Mazzone.
De Lille is said to have told McKaiser that she was going to walk away from the party after cleearing her name.
The DA charged De Lille with misconduct earlier this year, following various claims levelled against her. That resulted in her going through numerous battles including a motion of no confidence in her. There was an internal motion of no confidence against her in April in which the party voted to recall her as mayor.
“Ms de Lille was invited to explain why she had not, as a matter of fact, ceased to be a member by virtue of this section when she admitted that she intended to resign. She attempted to argue that this referred to resigning as mayor. The Federal Legal Commission (FLC) found that the context showed very clearly that she intended to resign from the DA,” Mazzone said.
“The party is deeply concerned about the impact this had on the residents of Cape Town – the people we serve – and the general public. It is no secret that the DA has suffered immeasurable damage because of this issue due to the lack of information,” Mazzone said.
Selfe said they have resolved to endorse the finishing of the FLC. He explained that with the decision, all other processes that were supposed to unfold would not be necessary.
“The fact that she has ceased to be a member renders the other processes moot. The federal executive did, however, support the motion passed by the caucus and will apply the accountability clause should the need arise. The federal exec has therefore at this point not made any decision on the accountability aspect. We wish Ms De Lille well in her future endeavors and thank her for the service she has given the party. This has been a confusing time for citizens of Cape Town, for which the DA sincerely apologises,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson would take over as acting mayor immediately and a new mayor would be elected as soon as possible.Council has 14 days to elect a new mayor, according to the Municipal Structures Act.
The party has come under scrutiny for the manner in which it has handled the entire De Lille matter. The decision taken at its conference last month also did not help with many having viewed a decision taken to recall public representatives as a direct attack on her.
The fight is however far from over.De Lille has indicated that she woulf file court papers on Friday to challenge the decision. She said she would be challenging the constitutionality of the cessation of her membership in court papers which she signed on Tuesday morning .
“I will show on Friday, this so-called automatic succession clause is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Now once again the DA’s desperation has led to them taking another shortcut to get rid of me. I always maintained that I’m fighting for my right for natural justice and to clear my name and I will never give up,” she said.
De Lille said she plans to ask the court to grant an interdict order to stop the City of Cape Town manager and the Independent Electoral Commission from declaring a vacancy in her post.
She said she would continue to fight to clear her name.
“People are entitled to speculate but I have made it very clear I will design my future once I have cleared my name,” she said.