DA branches slam bid to oust De Lille

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MARY JANE MPHAHLELE

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

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