DA branches slam bid to oust De Lille
DA branches in the Cape Town metro have slammed their regional chairperson Grant Twigg, saying he had no mandate to call for the removal of under-fire mayor Patricia de Lille.
This comes after Twigg released a statement on Wednesday announcing a “unanimous” decision by the party’s regional executive to remove her.
DA councillor Vuyokazi Matanzima said they were not properly consulted on the matter, and heard about it only via the media.
“To be honest with you, I was shocked to hear that a caucus was sitting somewhere. I am not sure whether it sat or not, but I was never part of it,” said Matanzima.
De Lille has called on the DA’s regional executive to provide proof of their meeting with branches and their mandate.
DA chief whip in Cape Town Shaun August said he also received messages and calls from branches denying having given Twigg a mandate to call for the removal of De Lille.
“I have received calls from many of our members saying they have not given the mandate to Grant Twigg, and have not engaged or consulted, and they refuse to vote against the mayor and are certainly against the decision that Grant and his executive took,” said August.
“I thought at this stage we were supposed to follow the processes,” said Matanzima.
“Remember, we have structures in place, so we were waiting for the outcome of the investigation. However, the federal executive, which is the highest structure, is the one that was supposed to give us directions as to say this is the outcome of the investigation and where do we go from here,” added Matanzima.
A DA member in the council, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Twigg was jumping the gun, and personalising the matter.
Twigg had formerly been the DA’s caucus chairperson in the city but was demoted by De Lille in favour of August, who also became the party’s leader in the metro when his predecessor, Grant Pascoe, defected to the ANC in 2014.
During the period when De Lille was given an extension to provide reasons to the DA’s federal executive, Twigg said in reply to a Facebook post: “I really don’t know why some people get so many extensions while others just have to accept what comes their way.” Apart from a series of reports, including the Bowman Gilfillan probe and an affidavit containing allegations of maladministration, there were other reasons that many in the party believed were behind the bid to remove De Lille.
She defied the DA federal council by appointing August chief whip, ignoring a preference of the council. She defied DA leader Mmusi Maimane by reappointing Loyiso Nkohla when she was told not to. And she wanted to axe mayco member JP Smith for no apparent reasons.
Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela labelled De Lille a “conspiracy theorist” after she released a statement saying she was aware of plans to replace her. He refuted this as “nonsense” and far-fetched, and stressed De Lille was suspended because of the nature of the allegations against her.
“It is very unfortunate that people resort to the media and public instead of allowing due process to be concluded. I do not understand why people think I would want to (become) mayor. It’s not true,” said Madikizela.
This weekend, the DA’s federal executive will consider De Lille’s response to the bid to oust her.
Patricia de Lille