CAPE TOWN, October 25 – Democratic Alliance chief whip Shaun August resigned in council on Thursday in support of outgoing Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
August resigned as chief whip, councillor and DA member. Another four Mayco members have also resigned, with Siyabulela Mamkeli, Suzette Little, Greg Bernardo and Thulani Stemele stating that they could not continue to tolerate the DA’s treatment towards De Lille.
The councillors said they wanted to practice their political roles to full capacity outside of the party. Councillors of opposition parties have highly welcomed the resignations, cheering and chanting struggle songs during the announcements.
Addressing the council meeting, De Lille used the opportunity to hit back at her critics and political rivals, making it clear that she would continue fighting to clear her name.
“I have suffered vicious attacks to my good name for more than a year and still people are intent on destroying me. I have given nothing but my unwavering commitment to the people of Cape Town and the evidence is in the massive support from the people across the city who are the beneficiaries of my commitment. It is a minority, but some who are in this Council that are hell-bent on smearing my name. But as I have said many times before, I will not be deterred,” said De Lille.
“In so far as the Bowmans investigation and reports are concerned, I said from day one in this chamber that I welcome any investigation. I committed to giving my full cooperation and I have done so whenever it was my turn to submit responses. I have also raised my concerns about factual errors in a previous Bowmans report tabled in this Council in January this year. Even so, I kept on cooperating with Bowmans all the time.
“Let me say it one more time, I have been fighting corruption for many years and I will not allow my good name to be smeared. My name has become synonymous in the country with fighting corruption and, with any attempt to suggest the contrary, I will fight for my rights and I will continue doing so to clear my name.”
She has also has expressed her outrage at councillors who have leaked a report that is set to be debated later in the day.
“Mr Speaker, at this time I have to turn to a matter of great importance, given the serious breach of Council rules where confidential Council reports were leaked to the media ahead of Council debating the matter today. It is grossly unacceptable that councillors would leak information with malicious intent to injure my name. But this is nothing new. I will not break and I will not give in to these vehement and racist bullying tactics. I reserve my rights regarding any findings, recommendations or conclusions contained in the Bowmans reports,” De Lille said, further adding that public representatives have gone so far as to spread fake reports about her from the Auditor General showing their complete disregard for the office of the AG.
“I will very soon lay criminal charges against those party members who shared this fake news post on social media.”
Earlier this week, the DA said a leaked forensic report paints a grim picture of De Lille’s term as mayor of Cape Town and points to misconduct on her part.
Natasha Mazzone, the deputy chairwoman of the DA’s federal executive, said the report “which by all accounts includes 2,000 pages of detailed evidence, based on interviews, legal submissions and other inputs, paints a grim picture of Patricia de Lille’s conduct as mayor”.
– African News Agency (ANA)