Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has defended DA leader Helen Zille's decision to appoint an all-male, mainly white provincial cabinet, saying he would have done the same thing if there were no competent women in the city.
Announcing his new mayoral committee yesterday, Plato said he did not take gender issues into account when appointing five women to the 13- member mayoral committee.
"If there was not a woman in our caucus who could take up a powerful position, then I would never go for a lady," Plato said.
"We are running a business here, it is not a spaza shop. It is not on to just have a kind of a face there."
The DA, which does not have a clear majority in Cape Town but governs under a multi-party agreement with the ID, ACDP, UDM and Universal Party, yesterday dumped the ACDP and Universal Party from the mayoral committee.
The city's deputy mayor, Grant Haskins, of the ACDP, attacked the DA in response.
In an open letter to the DA, Haskins asks how he could have been good enough to "hold the fort for Zille while she was out electioneering but not good enough to be retained as deputy mayor".
The DA will pass a motion of no confidence in Haskins at next week's council meeting and install the DA's Ian Nielsen in his place.
Haskins said he was shocked at Zille's response to criticisms of her mainly white, all-male provincial cabinet "because she had rejected him as deputy mayor in 2006 for being a white male".
"My party chose me when we set this coalition up but Zille phoned me to say they already had a top leadership who was white," Haskins said.