Cape Town's DA councillors meet to discuss no-confidence vote in De Lille

23 January 2018 - 17:22 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille may face a motion of no confidence from her own party because of defiance.

That’s according to DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ who is tipped as her possible successor if she is sacked.

On Wednesday‚ the DA caucus in the City of Cape Town will discuss a motion of no confidence in De Lille after councillor Mercia Kleinsmith requested an urgent meeting.

Kleinsmith confirmed sending a letter to caucus chairman Suzette Little‚ who agreed to the meeting. Little declined to comment.

In her letter‚ Kleinsmith accused De Lille of defying caucus discipline and rules by proposing a change to water tariffs during last week’s council meeting.

“This behaviour follows a couple of weeks during which she criticised the DA and its management‚ to the extent that it appears that she does not consider herself part of the DA or at least considers herself more important than it and above the rules of the party‚” wrote Kleinsmith.

She said too many of De Lille’s actions and press releases contradicted DA policies and values‚ and the mayor had disregarded the instructions of DA leaders.

Madikizela said DA caucus members were angered because De Lille appeared to be in defiance mode.

“As the DA we don’t gag our members. We are a liberal party that allows people to have their own views‚ but those views must be guided by DA principles and values‚” he said.

The party had agreed there was no need for a motion of no confidence in De Lille‚ because she faced disciplinary charges.

“Up until that stage‚ the members of caucus — as unhappy as they were — they really exercised discipline by allowing due processes of [the party federal executive] to be completed. But surely they have a responsibility to defend their party if they feel leadership is being undermined‚” he said.

Even if De Lille disagreed with the decisions of the DA caucus at last Friday’s council meeting — which stripped her of a number of powers‚ including her role in managing the water crisis — she was not allowed to speak against it publicly.

“A caucus decision is binding‚ whether you agree with it or not. You can’t then go publicly and talk against a caucus decision‚ because you are undermining that caucus‚” said Madikizela.

De Lille could not be reached for comment.