Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wants some of the DA’s top figures, including party leader Mmusi Maimane, to recuse themselves from dealing with her motion of no confidence because of “clear bias”.

On Wednesday, De Lille tabled her submissions to the DA federal executive, detailing why she should not be asked to resign as mayor. In the submission she also said Natasha Mazzone, the deputy chairwoman of the DA federal council, should recuse herself for comments made during an interview with eNCA in April, “wherein she made the allegation that I have failed in duties as the mayor”.

She also wants Mike Walters to recuse himself for content he shared on Facebook accusing her of corruption.

Furthermore, said De Lille, the leader of the DA in the Western Cape, Bonginkosi Madikizela, should recuse himself for comments he made on eNCA “wherein he says I am facing serious charges and that I do not have to be found guilty because this is a political decision”.

James Selfe, the party’s federal council chairman, should recuse himself for “a hostile statement issued on 6 April accusing me of trying to gain public sympathy and sarcastically claiming I know where to find the high court”, she said.

In April, 70% of DA councillors in the Cape Town caucus voted in favour of a motion of no confidence in De Lille. The mayor was accused of breaching the code of conduct for councillors as well as the DA’s constitution by bringing the party into disrepute. She was also accused of breaching the conditions of her suspension.

According to the new DA “recall clause” adopted at the party’s recent national congress, a party representative in government can be recalled when the caucus has lost confidence in that individual. That member is given 48 hours to submit representations explaining why they should not resign. If those submissions are deemed insufficient, the federal executive may terminate the individual’s party membership.

After the congress the party was at pains to emphasise that the clause would not be applied retrospectively and that the rule was not about De Lille, but would “in future help us to ensure that leaders have the confidence of their caucus”.

In her submission to the federal executive, De Lille suggested the clause was being applied retrospectively, and she would approach the courts in the event the party did recall her.

“I do not believe that the federal executive properly considered and interrogated the reasons for this motion of no confidence, before allowing the local caucus to proceed therewith,” De Lille stated.

“The reasons listed to motivate my removal lack detail, such as the name of the complainant, or specific examples of transgressions with dates.

“It is alleged that I have made ‘numerous media statements’ bringing the party into disrepute. My response is that every single statement I made was in defence of attacks made on me by party members and leadership. I only responded to comments and statements by other DA party members, and I have the right to defend myself against those wishing to tarnish my reputation and my integrity.

“The party is going through the motions, in my view, in order to implement its new recall clause. An adverse decision will be challenged in court,” she said.