‘I fear no one but my God’ – De Lille ahead of internal DA motion against her

Embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she isn't concerned about the pending internal motion of no confidence against her on Wednesday as "she fears no one."

DA councillors will caucus on Wednesday evening after the City of Cape Town council concludes its business for the day, to begin the next step of the DA’s new “recall clause” process.

This after the party’s federal executive gave the green light to the caucus’s request made last Monday to hold an internal motion of no confidence against De Lille.

De Lille told the media ahead of ordinary council proceedings on Wednesday that the party should just get on with its business against her.

“As everybody knows, the DA amended its constitution to create a ‘De Lille clause’ to get rid of me, and of course that was done to sidestep the existing disciplinary hearings against me, that I was still fighting to be made public,” she charged.

“My message to all of them is that I fear no one, I only fear my God.”

Clause approved by two thirds

De Lille was referring to the addition of a clause to the DA’s constitution, agreed to by the DA’s congress in Tshwane last month.

The new clause gives the DA the option to remove members appointed to executive posts in various governments if they have lost the confidence of their caucus.

Although the request for the motion was approved by two thirds of the Cape Town caucus, De Lille said she has yet to meet anyone in the public who has called for her to go.

She therefore wanted to know where individual councillors got their mandate from to say they had lost confidence in her.

“I have had 25 public meetings in this month alone, and not in one of those public meetings did anyone say ‘mayor, we’ve lost confidence in you.’

“So I’m not really concerned about it. I will continue to do what I must do, and they must continue to proceed with their motion of no confidence.”

De Lille should account to council, not party – ANC

The ANC in Cape Town on Wednesday also held a press conference ahead of the council and caucus processes on Wednesday.

ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe said the party was not interested in the DA’s internal politics against De Lille.

The ANC, however, was adamant that, if the charges against her related to council administration, then De Lille should be called to account in council, not within the DA caucus.

“They don’t want to bring this issue to council because they know very well they don’t have numbers in council,” he said.

“We are not defending De Lille as a person. We want her to remain here to be able to answer fundamental questions about corruption and maladministration.

“If you [the DA] want her to leave now, no one will give us those answers.”

Removal as mayor not automatic

De Lille, like the deputy mayor and the speaker, was elected by council, and therefore must account to council, he maintained.

Deputy DA caucus leader JP Smith told News24 on Tuesday that the internal process would likely be a lengthy one as members debate De Lille’s future.

An outcome was only expected late in the evening as it was likely that consensus would not be reached and voting would have to take place through a secret ballot process.

He maintained that the caucus had lost confidence in De Lille given the raft of allegations made against her regarding alleged maladministration in the council and her continued public statements against the party.

In the event of a successful motion, De Lille will not be automatically removed as mayor.

The process will be referred to the federal executive, which will then ask De Lille to make representations to defend herself.DM


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