JOHANNESBURG- Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille has hit back at DA Cape Metro Chairperson Grant Twigg following calls to have her removed.
De Lille has come out guns blazing and accused Twigg of not consulting branches with regards to have her removed as mayor. Grant released a statement on Tuesday, claiming the caucus had met and agreed that De Lille was no longer the preferred person to lead the city.
“Firstly, this statement does not represent the City of Cape Town DA caucus because they never met. Secondly, after this statement by Grant Twigg was issued I received numerous calls from members from various the branches of the DA saying that they have never been consulted on this statement by the Regional Executive nor have they given them the mandate,” de Lille said.
She challenged Twigg to provide proof of the meetings that took place to arrive at the decision to have her removed.
“The Regional Executive, therefore, needs to provide the proof of when they met with the branches and what mandate they received from the branches. It is only fair that this proof is provided to understand whether the DA members and branches were consulted. They can do this by providing a list of the meetings which took place when branches took decisions,” she said.
In his statement, Twigg said De Lille has lost the confidence of the Metro Executive and for that reason, she must be removed. He said the DA prides itself on being a party that represents transparent and accountable governance.
“It is therefore important that our leaders represent us in this regard. For us to ensure that the City of Cape Town remains a well-run city, it is important that its leadership maintains the confidence of its party and the functionality of its political caucus. It is for these reasons that the DA Cape Metro Executive have resolved to recommend to the DA Western Cape Provincial Executive Committee, DA Federal Executive and the DA City of Cape Town Caucus that Patricia De Lille be removed as the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town,” said Twigg.
“Patricia De Lille has lost the confidence of the Metro Executive, the relevant political authority. We are of the view that the City of Cape Town requires stability, unity and functionality – which we believe she cannot deliver.”
De Lille has been at the centre of controversy in recent times following allegations of improper conduct. She is under investigation for allegedly ordering the cover-up of serious allegations of misconduct against Cape Town transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead.
She has also come under fire for her suggestion of Drought Water Levy to try and restore water supply in the city. Cape Town has been gripped by water shortages with dam levels at an extremely low point. Twigg said the suggestion should be blocked.
“To recommend to the DA City of Cape Town Caucus that the proposed ‘Drought Water Levy’ not be supported at the next Full Council meeting. After careful consideration, we have come to the decision that this proposal is not viable and will create an undue burden on ratepayers. We are of the opinion that the city should reprioritize it’s budget as well as actively and robustly engage the National Government on the needs of the City, as water sourcing is their core competency. I communicated our recommendations to party leadership and trust they will act swiftly in the best interests of the organization,” he said.
De Lille declared the statement as a ploy to have her removed and replaced by provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela who is said to be a Helen Zille ally. She said the statement clearly indicated that the Regional Executive was confused about its role and function.
“This is yet another example of the flagrant disregard for processes within the DA in their rush to get rid of me and make Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela the next Executive Mayor. It illustrates my previous position that these attacks on me have been about power and positions all along. The Regional Executive should explain why they have chosen to only represent their jackets considering that many branches and members are not in support of this so-called motion. It has become clear that they do not have a mandate as many members have confirmed that they have never been consulted,” she said.