Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Patricia de Lille confirmed on Wednesday that it would be her last day as mayor of Cape Town.

Standing on the steps of the high court in Cape Town‚ De Lille said she has decided not to withdraw the letter of resignation she gave to DA leader Mmusi Maimane on August 4.

De Lille was speaking after filing papers challenging the City of Cape Town’s acceptance of a report from law firm Bowmans that led to a criminal charge against her.

De Lille said her resignation would take effect at 7pm.

“There are two more councilors who have resigned from the DA effective today. More councilors are going to resign‚” she said

Five DA councilors resigned from the City of Cape Town and the DA at De Lille’s final council meeting last week. Shaun August‚ the DA chief whip‚ said at the time that he was leaving in solidarity with De Lille. 

In a statement‚ he accused the DA of protecting a “white minority” at the expense of its own black leaders and supporters. August said it was evident that many senior leaders in the DA nationally and in various provincial executives are racist.

“The same can be said for many of the party senior staffers. Where black faces are shown‚ their control lies [in] the white necks that turn them. And if you don’t say or do what they want‚ you are automatically worked out to be replaced by another black or coloured face‚” said August.

A 2‚000-page investigative report by Bowmans‚ completed after a 10-month investigation‚ says De Lille and former city manager Achmat Ebrahim broke the law when they failed to tell the council about irregular payments in 2015. It also says De Lille did so by attempting to influence Ebrahim not to fulfil his legal obligation‚ while Ebrahim did so by acceding to her wishes.

The mayor remonstrated with council speaker Dirk Smit on Tuesday for allegedly telling journalists she had resigned and that a special council meeting would be held to elect former community safety MEC Dan Plato as mayor.

De Lille tweeted a screen-grab of a text message she had sent to Smit which said: “Speaker‚ why are you lying to journalists? I never sent you a letter today addressed to you.”

She then tweeted a copy of her letter to Maimane‚ saying: “This was my resignation letter addressed to Mmusi. See the date? It’s not my formal resignation letter to the speaker. The speaker is lying.”

The Bowmans report also recommended that Brett Herron‚ the MMC for transport‚ be reported to the police.

Smit said on Tuesday that he had formally laid criminal charges against De Lille and Herron‚ in accordance with the council’s resolution taken on the Bowmans’ reports. “The law must now follow its course on these matters accordingly and the SAPS will receive our full support while conducting its investigation.”

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