Key De Lille ally Herron quits council and DA

01 November 2018 - 13:42 By Aron Hyman
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport‚ Brett Herron has quit
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport‚ Brett Herron has quit
Image: DA

A member of Patricia de Lille’s City of Cape Town mayoral committee quit the council and the DA on Thursday.

Brett Herron‚ who was in charge of transport and urban development‚ said he was following the former mayor and seven other councillors out of the DA administration that runs Cape Town.

Herron‚ who joined the DA when the Independent Democrats merged with the party‚ was reported to the police on Monday by council speaker Dirk Smit.

Criminal charges against him and De Lille were recommended by law firm Bowman Gilfillan‚ which spent 10 months investigating alleged misconduct and corruption in the city's Transport and Urban Development Authority.

Herron was a candidate to take over from De Lille as mayor‚ but the DA selected Dan Plato‚ the Western Cape MEC for community safety.

Plato was sworn in as a councillor on Thursday and will be elected as mayor at a special council meeting on Tuesday. He said he planned to reshuffle De Lille’s mayoral committee.

At a news conference in Salt River‚ Herron lashed out at a “white cabal” in the DA which he accused of blocking the sale of the old market in the suburb for affordable housing.

“I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch the party lie to the public about this‚ nor can I continue to meet with communities and promise to deliver housing when it is clear that many in the party – enough to stop projects – are opposed to the provision of well-located affordable housing‚” he said.

“Because of my push for the city to deliver more‚ and better-located‚ housing‚ I have been labelled a ‘comrade’ by some of my DA colleagues.”

Herron became emotional as he explained that he had refused to defend the “lie” that the sale of Salt River Market to Communicare had been halted for technical reasons.

“Numerous hurdles and delays have been placed before my team in relation to this and other proposed affordable housing developments‚ and now it is clear there has all along been tacit high-level political support‚ or perhaps even direct interference‚ in these objections to the delivery of affordable housing in Cape Town‚” he said.

Like De Lille a day earlier‚ Herron praised Western Cape premier and former DA leader Helen Zille‚ saying when she was at the helm “the DA became renowned for upholding the law and rigorously adhering to due process”.

Herron said he would work in the law school he owns and was studying for an MSc in cities through the London School of Economics.