Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
26 Jul 2018
4:45 pm

UPDATE: DA officially withdraws De Lille no-confidence motion

Daniel Friedman

ANC members in the council chambers cheered when the official withdrawal was announced.

Former Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille appears in the Western Cape High Court to fight her expulsion from the DA, 5 June 2018. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

The Democratic Alliance held a council meeting in Cape Town this afternoon, where the party officially withdrew its motion of no confidence in Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

ANC councillors cheered when DA councillor Marian Nieuwoudt announced the official withdrawal.

De Lille, who so far has survived so many attempts by the DA to see the back of her that you would be forgiven for thinking she has nine lives, will live to see another day as mayor after, earlier this month, Nieuwoudt and fellow councillor Brenda Hansen submitted the motion to remove her as mayor.

The City council was expected to bring the motion against the embattled politician after lunch. Reports had already surfaced this morning that the motion would be withdrawn after a deal with De Lille was reached.

However, Radio 702 reported that a certain faction of the DA party was not happy with the deal the federal executive had struck with De Lille, as the ‘rebels’ were determined to see the motion through. De Lille could still face the no-confidence motion if the dissenting group got its way.

The agreement between De Lille and the DA, which states that the party will bring no further motions of no-confidence in the Cape Town mayor but will continue the council disciplinary investigation into her, was signed on Wednesday night.

In a separate matter, council speaker Dirk Smit is set to face a motion of no confidence, this one brought by the opposition, ANC.

This would have been the second motion of no confidence De Lille has faced at the hands of her own party. She survived the last one by a single vote, leading some to question whether she would have been able to make it out of this one unscathed.

De Lille issued a statement on Twitter, saying the motions of no confidence “have been on the basis of untested allegations without evidence”.She also expressed her desire to “remain positive and continue to put the people of Cape Town first”, ending the message on a philosophical note with the words “what must be, will be”.

Last month, the party’s removal of De Lille was declared unlawful and set aside with costs in the Western Cape High Court.

READ MORE: De Lille handed victory against DA with costs

The judgment found there was noncompliance with the DA’s own constitution in the handling of the disciplinary process that culminated in the removal of De Lille as a member of the party and then as mayor of Cape Town.The party’s removal of De Lille was declared unlawful, and was set aside with costs.

The DA’s refusal to give De Lille the opportunity to give evidence in mitigation was said to be an example of noncompliance in the matter by judge Andre le Grange.The party was meant to give De Lille a chance to make representations, “which in our view it did not do”.

The judge said the process taken by the DA’s Federal Legal Council (FLC), which handles internal matters, was legally incorrect.

The Citizen reported soon after that as a result of the ruling the party could face a review of several decisions made by its disciplinary body over the past three years, according to its federal executive.

READ MORE: De Lille judgment opens can of worms for DA

If the motion of no confidence did take place, and if she lost, De Lille would have been forced to resign and dissolve her mayoral committee, causing deputy mayor Ian Neilson to step in pending the appointment of a new mayor.

The ANC said on Wednesday they did not plan to support the motion against De Lille. Likewise, the DA are against the one the ANC is bringing against Smit, who Cape Town ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe told News24 last week they had lost confidence in.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.