Five councillors quit as De Lille faces crucial vote

Patricia De Lille.
Patricia De Lille.
Image: David Harrison.

Five councillors resigned from the City of Cape Town and the DA on Thursday ahead of a council vote on whether to press criminal charges against mayor Patricia de Lille.

Shaun August‚ the DA chief whip‚ said he was leaving in solidarity with De Lille‚ whose term as mayor is due to end on October 31.

In a statement‚ he accused the DA of protecting a “white minority” at the expense of its own black leaders and supporters.

August said it was evident that many senior leaders in the DA nationally and in various provincial executives were racist.

“The same can be said for many of the party senior staffers. Where black faces are shown‚ their control lies by the white necks that turn them. And if you don’t say or do what they want‚ you are automatically worked out to be replaced by another black or coloured face‚” said August.

His statement followed his resignation at a highly anticipated meeting where the council is expected to discuss an investigation report that implicates De Lille in alleged wrongdoing.

During a period of turmoil for De Lille‚ August has been one of her strongest supporters. Mayoral committee members Siya Mamkeli and Suzette Little‚ and councillors Greg Bernardo and Thulani Stemele‚ also resigned during Thursday's meeting.

“Many black and coloured public reps and activists are used as foot soldiers‚ whilst white senior leaders remain behind the DA boardroom tables and make decisions‚” said August.

“It was no coincidence that 18 months ago‚ we knew Alan Winde would be the preferred premier candidate in the Western Cape. This‚ considering the funding of the party is held by a small white minority to control the black and coloured majority. Slowly‚ the wheels are turning as donors are refusing funding for the DA.”

August said the DA was exposing itself. “Slowly‚ the black faces are disappearing because they no longer will be used by those in power sitting in senior party and government positions.

“I can no longer support a racist regime who continues to undermine my fight for non-racialism and equality‚” he added.

Earlier‚ De Lille told councillors she would lay criminal charges against those smearing her name.

The mayor said it was “grossly malicious” and a breach of council rules that documents‚ including a 2‚000-page report from a forensic investigation which recommends criminal action against her‚ had been leaked.

Speaker Dirk Smit has launched a forensic investigation in an attempt to identify the sources of the leaks.

At 3.30pm on Thursday‚ councillors are due to debate the report from law firm Bowman Gilfillan recommending criminal action against De Lille for her alleged attempts to influence former city manager Achmat Ebrahim not to tell the council about a senior manager's misconduct.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.