JOHANNESBURG- The Democratic Alliance has suspended Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille from all party activities.
She has also been asked to provide reasons why she should not be removed from her position as mayor.
DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the party’s Federal Executive became aware of the alleged existence of a number of issues in the DA’s City of Cape Town caucus including a series of reports and an affidavit containing troubling allegations of maladministration in the City.
“Due to the nature and extent of such challenges, and the need for transparency and clarity, the Federal Executive resolved to establish a sub-committee to investigate the matter in a responsive and timely fashion. The sub-committee has now completed its work, and has found sufficient management and governance-related challenges prevalent in the DA’s City of Cape Town caucus, negatively impacting the City’s mandate to govern efficiently for the people of Cape Town,” said van Damme.
As a result of the investigation, the party saw it fit to suspend her. Van Damme said the decision was in line with their promise to South Africans to promote clean governance wherever the party governs.
“As an organisation, the DA prides itself on excellent governance standards, guided by the values of accountability and transparency. It was for this reason that the Leader directed the caucus of the COCT to establish an independent investigation to probe these allegations. In the light of these developments, it was the view of the Federal Executive that the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, needed to be placed on suspension pending the outcome of these ongoing investigations. The Federal Executive has also asked her to supply reasons why she should not resign as the mayor,” she said.
At this stage, no decision, other than suspension has been made, pending the provision of the reasons requested by the Federal Executive, van Damme added.
The suspension relates to the shutting down of the city’s special investigations unit, which resulted in a rift between her and mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith.
The unit is said to have uncovered claims that councillors may have been involved in a murder and that De Lille’s house received upgrades that were not sanctioned.
There were also rumours of tender irregularities. Dr Lille is said to have requested that information about R43 million tender be made to go away.
“The DA remains committed to clean and efficient administrations where we govern. That is why it is of paramount importance that we get to the bottom of these allegations and swift leadership changes be made should they be found to be true so that our commitment to deliver to the people of Cape Town is not derailed. We believe that this is the first step towards bringing new management to the City of Cape Town caucus that is stable, functional, and focused on delivering the highest quality of services to all of its residents,” van Damme said.