11 Cape Town councillors face further investigation by DA

17 January 2018 - 07:30
By Aphiwe Deklerk
Democratic Alliance flag
Democratic Alliance flag

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is not the only councillor in hot water with her party‚ with 11 of her colleagues also facing a probe due to political squabbles in the council.

Following a meeting of the DA’s federal executive on Tuesday‚ the councillors may face a further investigation by the party’s federal legal commission.

They include high-ranking party members Shaun August (chief whip)‚ Dirk Smit (speaker)‚ Ian Neilson (deputy mayor) and Grant Twigg (Cape Metro regional chairman).

Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith and transport and urban development mayco member Brett Herron could also be investigated.

The list of 11 is rounded out by Greg Barnado‚ Christina Groenewald‚ Helen Carstens‚ Joy McCarthy and Taki Amira.

DA spokesman Phumzile van Damme confirmed that a meeting of the federal executive‚ held via teleconference‚ considered submissions by Smit and August in response to the report of a sub-committee chaired by parliamentary chief whip John Steenhuisen.

Steenhuisen and three others found that “open warfare has broken out amongst councillors in the DA caucus”.

Said Van Damme “The [federal legal commission] has identified the ... individuals who may be subject of further investigations in the City of Cape Town flowing from the Steenhuisen report.

“There is still going to be an investigation to determine whether or not other people [mentioned in the Steenhuisen report] must be charged ... now the matter is before the federal legal commission‚ now the [commission] must do its work.”

Steenhuisen’s report was scathing about De Lille but also criticised August and Smit. All three were asked to make submissions why they should not resign.

On Sunday the party decided to charge De Lille. Instead she will face a disciplinary hearing which is set to be concluded within two months.

“The speaker and chief whip were asked to provide reasons why they shouldn’t be asked to resign. They provided reasons ... and the federal executive has decided not to ask them to resign pending the conclusion of various disciplinary processes in the City of Cape Town‚” said Van Damme.

The latest developments come as the opposition ANC has again moved a motion of no confidence in De Lille which is expected to be debated at a council meeting later this month.

DA federal council chairman James Selfe was quoted on Tuesday saying the party would not take action against councillors who supported the motion against De Lille.