Mike Waters, Refiloe Ntsekhe, Natasha Mazzone, and James Selfe address the media after a meeting of the DA federal executive on Tuesday. Picture: ANTHONY MOLYNEAUX
Mike Waters, Refiloe Ntsekhe, Natasha Mazzone, and James Selfe address the media after a meeting of the DA federal executive on Tuesday. Picture: ANTHONY MOLYNEAUX

Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille has ceased to be a DA member, the party announced on Tuesday.

This means she can no longer continue serving as mayor. Her deputy, Ian Neilson, is expected to take over as interim mayor.

James Selfe, the party’s federal council chairman, said De Lille had on two separate occasions during a radio interview on 702 stated that she intended to resign from the party as soon as she had “cleared her name”.

Selfe said the DA constitution provided that a party member ceases to be a member when he or she publicly declares his or intention to resign or publicly resigns.

The federal legal commission found that De Lille intended to resign from the DA and therefore her membership ceased on the day of the April interview on 702.

Selfe said the fact that De Lille had ceased to be a DA member rendered other processes moot, including the consideration of the recall clause and her disciplinary hearing.

The DA’s federal executive has announced the cessation of Patricia de Lille’s DA membership on May 8 2018.

The findings of the federal legal commission had been communicated to De Lille.

The DA and De Lille have been engaged in a bitter public spat for more than a year as the party made it clear it wanted her out.

According to the DA federal executive, the Cape Town caucus had advanced various reasons for why more than 70% of the caucus had lost confidence in De Lille as mayor.

These reasons included that she had repeatedly breached the code of conduct for councillors as well as the constitution of the DA, had brought the party into disrepute, and had breached the conditions of her suspension.

In addition, De Lille’s conduct in the public domain had amounted to frequent criticisms of the DA and the party’s management of her case, “to the extent that it appears 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”.

“Her recent comment that she is ‘no longer co-operating with the DA’ means she cannot effectively govern on a DA mandate.”

In her submission last week giving reasons why she should not resign as mayor, De Lille called for some of the DA’s top figures, including Selfe and party leader Mmusi Maimane, to recuse themselves from dealing with her motion of no confidence because of “clear bias”.

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 resign, failing which 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.

She served the party with her draft court papers, saying “the courtesy was extended to the party’s legal team since the [recall] clause, if invoked, would have required me to resign within 48 hours”.

De Lille said at the weekend: “Any application made to the court would thus have to be done on an urgent basis and we wanted the party to be in a position to prepare to respond if necessary.

“I remain concerned by the statements made by Ms [Natasha] Mazzone [the deputy chairwoman of the DA federal council], in particular that the caucus relied on me allegedly breaching the code of conduct for councillors and the party’s constitution, bringing the party into disrepute and breaching my suspension conditions as the basis for the vote of no confidence.

“I have never been found guilty, following any due process, of any of those allegations. I would expect a senior leader of the party to know that. Those allegations are unspecified and untested.

“In fact, my consistent demand is for all the allegations against me to be tested following an open, transparent and fair process that is consistent with the values of the party.

“As you know, despite my right to privacy, I have asked for those allegations to be tested in a hearing that is fully open to the public and the media. This request has been denied by the party.

“I am disputing all of those allegations and I want the public, who elected me, to hear the evidence against me.”

In her submission last week giving reasons why she should not resign as mayor, De Lille called for some of the DA’s top figures, including Selfe and party leader Mmusi Maimane, to recuse themselves from dealing with her motion of no confidence because of “clear bias”.

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 resign, failing which 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.

She served the party with her draft court papers, saying “the courtesy was extended to the party’s legal team since the [recall] clause, if invoked, would have required me to resign within 48 hours”.

De Lille said at the weekend: “Any application made to the court would thus have to be done on an urgent basis and we wanted the party to be in a position to prepare to respond if necessary.

“I remain concerned by the statements made by Ms [Natasha] Mazzone [the deputy chairwoman of the DA federal council], in particular that the caucus relied on me allegedly breaching the code of conduct for councillors and the party’s constitution, bringing the party into disrepute and breaching my suspension conditions as the basis for the vote of no confidence.

“I have never been found guilty, following any due process, of any of those allegations. I would expect a senior leader of the party to know that. Those allegations are unspecified and untested.

“In fact, my consistent demand is for all the allegations against me to be tested following an open, transparent and fair process that is consistent with the values of the party.

“As you know, despite my right to privacy, I have asked for those allegations to be tested in a hearing that is fully open to the public and the media. This request has been denied by the party.

“I am disputing all of those allegations and I want the public, who elected me, to hear the evidence against me.”

Please sign in or register to comment.