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

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is "certainly" on her way out and her representations to the party’s federal executive this week to save her job and party membership will be purely academic, party sources say.

This is likely to prompt another legal challenge by De Lille as she clings to her position by a thread.

After months of public rows between De Lille and some of her colleagues, the DA appeared to take a firm decision to dump her at the party’s recent federal congress when it adopted the "recall clause", making it possible for a DA representative in government to be recalled when the caucus has lost confidence in the individual.

Last week, 70% of DA councillors in the Cape Town caucus voted for a motion of no confidence in De Lille.

The mayor was accused of breaching the code of conduct for councillors as well as the constitution of the DA by bringing the party into disrepute, and also of breaching the conditions of her suspension.

De Lille’s public conduct

According to Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, the caucus felt De Lille’s public conduct had amounted to frequent criticism of the DA and the party’s management of her case "to the extent that it appears that she does not consider herself part of the DA any longer, or at least considers herself more important than it and above the rules of the party".

"The federal executive will now provide Ms De Lille with the opportunity to make submissions as to why she should not step down," said Natasha Mazzone, deputy chairwoman of the DA federal council.

A party insider said the representations were "academic".

"It’s been clear for months now that the party is fed up with her and her divisiveness…. The party wants her out … the relationship has for all intents and purposes irretrievably broken down. I do not see how she can remain in the party," said a party member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another said a majority of delegates at the federal congress had indicated they wanted De Lille out when they voted in favour of the recall clause.

The clause has already enabled the DA to hold an executive member in the Matzikama municipality to account. This case was the first time the clause had been used.

In a statement, De Lille said the motion against her was brought on various grounds, all of which she had disputed, and asked the councillors for evidence of "so-called breaches they listed as reasons for the motion of no confidence".

"I also asked for examples of where I made statements which brought this party into disrepute after I pointed out that every statement I have made about the allegations against me has been in response to comments made by other DA members."

She said councillors were not in council as individuals but represent constituencies.

De Lille has until May 2 to table her submissions.