South Africa: Gloves Off As DA Declares De Lille's Return 'Ceremonial'

The Democratic Alliance has declared Patricia de Lille's return to the mayoral office in the City of Cape Town as only "ceremonial" and that governance decision are to be made by the DA caucus.

The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday granted De Lille's urgent application for the temporary suspension of the DA's decision to terminate her membership, pending a full review of the decision next Friday.

- READ: Patricia De Lille wins bid to be temporarily reinstated

The DA released a statement immediately after to say that the court's decision was not in the best interests of the people of Cape Town.

"It is unfortunate that Ms De Lille continues to put her individual interests above those of the citizens of Cape Town by using legal technicalities to cling on to power," DA deputy federal council chairperson Natasha Mazzone said.

"We will not relent in our mission to put Cape Town first and ensure that maladministration and misconduct is kept out of the mayoral office. Our electoral promise in 2016 was to keep corruption out of Cape Town and continue delivering better services.

"Ms De Lille's occupation of the mayoral office does not honour that promise."

'Zuma-like style'

The party compared De Lille to former president Jacob Zuma, saying: "In true Zuma-like style, De Lille is now clearly clinging onto power for power itself."

"She has long forgotten the people who have voted for the party that she once represented. She is now clearly on only one mission - to destroy anyone and anything that will seek to hold her accountable for her actions.

"De Lille will now act in only a ceremonial role, with substantive governance decisions to be taken by the DA caucus in the interests of the people of Cape Town (while enjoying the benefits of a mayoral salary at ratepayer expense)."

Mazzone said it was "inconceivable" to expect the party to work with a mayor who has lost the confidence of two-thirds of her caucus on two occasions.

"Furthermore, as was articulated by the councillors who briefed the media yesterday, her autocratic leadership style has divided the caucus and threatened their ability to perform their roles as public servants."

The only bully on display in the matter was De Lille, "no one else", Mazzone said.

"We remain confident that the substantive case on the cessation of De Lille's party's membership will be successful."

The party continued to call on De Lille to submit her cellphone for forensic analysis regarding an SMS she allegedly sent in 2016 relating to the scoring of the then City manager.

'This is not about me, it's about fairness'

Mazzone told News24 outside court that one of the instructions from the court was that De Lille subject herself to internal party discipline and procedures, while her membership is returned.

That now also applies to the party's decision regarding the governance of the City for the next 10 days, she said.

De Lille meanwhile told journalists immediately after the ruling that it was up to the DA whether they would continue to fight as they've been doing, or if they would put the City of Cape Town first.

"This is not about me. This is about fighting for fairness and equality. As leaders, if we cannot display fairness, we certainly cannot build a democracy where we want to build fairness and equality.

"I've always tried my best for the City of Cape Town, and I will continue to do so."

She thanked all those who have supported her in the country and around the world for their messages in the past few weeks.

De Lille said she intended to go back to the office and return to work immediately on Tuesday afternoon.

Source: News24

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