South Africa News

Patricia De Lille could be back as Cape Town mayor today

The City of Cape Town could have its first mayor who is not backed by a political party on Tuesday.

The Cape Town High Court will on Tuesday give its decision on an urgent application brought forward by former mayor Patricia de Lille‚ which could see her back in position from which she was fired by the DA last week.

The DA announced its decision to remove De Lille last week following a radio interview where she said she would quit the party once she had cleared her name of various allegations including nepotism and protecting individuals who were at the center of a storm over tender irregularities involving major infrastructure projects.

Patricia de Lille

In the meantime‚ since De Lille launched her application on Tuesday last week‚ Cape Town’s highest executive leadership body‚ the mayoral committee‚ has been in limbo pending the court’s decision.

Acting mayor Ian Neilson’s spokesperson Piera Abbott said that Neilson decided not to appoint an interim mayoral committee as he was waiting for the court’s decision‚ but she said that this was affecting the city’s ability to deliver services to residents.

“There are definite implications‚ certain decisions need to be made‚ most importantly obviously our budget because that’s supposed to be tabled to the council at the end of May‚” said Abbott.

“We do need a mayoral committee to approve that budget and recommend it to council‚” she said.

Meanwhile‚ the ANC has accused the DA of having effectively taken over the city and running it from its offices in Johannesburg.

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Yonela Diko said that the DA acted unconstitutionally when it removed De Lille.

He said that the ANC wanted council to investigate the various allegations into De Lille and other council members.

“The bigger lesson for the councillors in the city is the importance of separation of party and state‚ or of party activities and council. Council is the highest decision-making body in the municipality‚” he said.

“What was missed here was a lot of decisions were taken disregarding council‚” said Diko.

“The feeling now is that the DA has effectively taken over the council which is made up of ANC‚ EFF‚ and other parties‚ which means the functioning of the municipality is happening elsewhere and not in council‚” said Diko‚ adding that this had constitutional implications.

Speaker of the city council‚ Dirk Smit‚ said that technically De Lille could take up her seat without being a member of any party – but that it would be the first time something like this had happened.


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