De Lille hits back: 'DA makes a mockery of its own values'

31 January 2018 - 17:49
By Dave Chambers And Philani Nombembe
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille mounted a furious attack on the DA and its Western Cape leader‚ Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ accusing them of being desperate to remove her from her job.

In a series of 23 tweets on Wednesday afternoon‚ De Lille said the DA decision to allow its councillors to vote in favour of an ANC motion of no confidence in her made a mockery of the values of fairness‚ freedom and opportunity the party claimed to stand for.

Comments by Madikizela in two statements earlier in the day were “a blatant attempt to attack me publicly and undermine the party’s process”‚ she said.

“It is clear that the provincial leader would much rather engage in campaigns to unseat me from a democratically elected position than to allow the party’s process to be followed.”

The ANC withdrew its motion of no confidence after learning the DA would support it‚ leaving Madikizela to announce that the party would table its own motion with Speaker Dirk Smit.

The ANC caucus leader‚ Xolani Sotashe‚ told TimesLIVE: “We are still adamant that Patricia’s leadership in the City of Cape Town leaves much to be desired but what we will not allow is for the Democratic Alliance to hijack the genuine issues that we raise about the leadership of this administration‚ to hijack our motion and use it to settle their own political agendas.

“If we do not act now this municipality will collapse. You can see now (DA leader) Mmusi Maimane has stationed (himself) here in Cape Town. He has taken over the administration. There is serious interference of the federal council of the DA with operations of the City of Cape Town."

De Lille said the DA federal executive decided on January 14 not to support a motion of no confidence in her‚ pending investigations by the federal legal commission and the City of Cape Town.

“I have received no notification from the FedEx about a change in their decision. It is unclear why the party has reneged on their previous position‚” she said.

“I was asked by the FedEx chair‚ James Selfe‚ to refrain from speaking to the media on issues pertaining to the charges and investigation. However‚ I have been subjected to constant attacks by party members in the media on a daily basis‚ with no avenue for recourse.”

Madikizela’s statements on Wednesday accused De Lille of misconduct‚ dereliction of duty‚ deception‚ lies‚ cronyism‚ poor leadership‚ irregular spending‚ delays and cover-ups‚ and she said: “I cannot allow my name to be tarnished on a daily basis while being unfairly gagged when all other party members are able to freely speak on these matters while processes are under way.”

And she hit back at Madikizela’s criticism over the auditor-general’s decision to downgrade the city’s audit status from “clean” to “unqualified with conditions”.

The provincial leader‚ who is also the Western Cape human settlements MEC‚ said: “This is untenable for a DA government to see a deterioration in its audit status‚ especially when such a regression is the direct result of the conduct of the mayor herself. This is wholly unacceptable and is not in line with the DA’s commitment to clean‚ open and accountable governance.”

De Lille responded: “The auditor-general also found that Western Cape Human Settlements regressed from a clean audit to an unqualified audit with findings. The auditor-general found repeating issues with supply chain management within (Madikizela’s) department. The AG also recorded R520‚000 in irregular expenditure.

“It is therefore shocking that he would use the AG’s latest audit report into the City of Cape Town to attack me.

“I also have to ask whether any similar attacks have been made by other party leaders against the mayors of both the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane‚ who also received unqualified audits with findings for the past financial year‚ while Nelson Mandela bay received a qualified audit.”

De Lille said all she wanted was for the investigative processes she was involved in to be allowed to take their course.

“Yet it seems that every other day‚ there is another manoeuvre to undermine these processes and get rid of me before testing the allegations. It begs the question just how much confidence the DA has in their charges against me.”

Despite the attacks on her‚ she said‚ she had continued to prioritise the needs of Capetonians above politicking.

“Judging by his behaviour this morning‚ I cannot be sure that the same can be said about the provincial leader.”