Bid to oust De Lille starts with ANC being ejected

15 February 2018 - 11:14 By Philani Nombembe
Patricia de Lille.
Patricia de Lille.
Image: Gallo Images

A special meeting of the City of Cape Town council‚ called on Thursday to vote on a DA motion of no-confidence in mayor Patricia de Lille‚ was interrupted when the speaker ejected the ANC.

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe asked speaker Dirk Smit to report on his investigation into De Lille’s claims of misconduct by members of the DA caucus.

De Lille claimed during the previous sitting that an attendance register was circulating among DA members calling for the special meeting.

Smit told Sotashe: “I asked those councillors but they denied it. I am waiting for affidavits.”

The ANC demanded the names of the councillors involved and began singing struggle songs in the council chamber.

When the ANC ignored Smit’s instruction to leave‚ he briefly moved the sitting to the banqueting hall‚ but he then relented and provided the councillors’ names.

Said Sotashe: “We got the information‚ it is in our hands. We are going to ask for a 15-minute adjournment as the ANC caucus to ensure that the business of the day goes ahead.”

The adjournment was granted.

The DA accuses De Lille of a litany of offences‚ including corruption and maladministration. In turn‚ she has accused the DA’s top echelons of bullying.

She faces the vote of no confidence emboldened by a high court ruling in her favour on Wednesday. De Lille approached the High Court in Cape Town for an order instructing Smit to ensure that councillors could vote with their conscience.

This followed a tip-off from her ally Suzette Little‚ chairman of the DA caucus in the city council‚ that DA federal executive chairman James Selfe “was of the opinion that in terms of the DA’s constitution all caucus members are bound by the caucus decision [to support the motion of no confidence]‚ even those who did not vote for it”.

The DA has a two-thirds majority in the council. Judge Robert Henney ruled on Wednesday that Smit must use his discretion to ensure that councillors can vote with their conscience. He also ordered that the DA must pay the costs of De Lille’s two counsel.