DA adopts‘De Lille’clause

African Times - - Business - RUS­SEL MOLEFE

THE Demo­cratic Al­liance has emerged from its elec­tive con­fer­ence with a con­tro­ver­sial clause that has been dubbed the ‘De Lille’ clause, aimed at re­call­ing a leader who has lost sup­port from party struc­tures.

The clause gives the party’s fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive pow­ers to re­call elected pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives from of­fice.

The adopted pol­icy comes as the party and the Cape Town mayor are at log­ger­heads with many call­ing for her re­moval over al­le­ga­tions of fraud. The party has been try­ing to have her re­moved from the may­oral po­si­tion but has thus far failed to do so.

Ac­cord­ing to the new clause, the DA’s fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive‚ now has the au­thor­ity to fire may­ors‚ pre­miers and other pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive for mis­be­hav­ing‚ dis­obey­ing party in­struc­tions and other of­fences.

Dur­ing the de­bate at the con­fer­ence which was held in Tsh­wane over two days, DA KwaZulu Na­tal leader Zwakele Mngcwango called on party mem­bers to en­sure the process fol­lows nat­u­ral jus­tice be­fore a pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive is re­moved.

De Lille is cur­rently fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion over al­le­ga­tions of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion and nepo­tism.

In terms of the new con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment‚ pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives would still be al­lowed to make rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive be­fore their fate is de­cided.

Western Cape ed­u­ca­tion MEC Deb­bie Shafer said it was un­ten­able to al­low DA pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives to en­joy the pro­tec­tion of op­po­si­tion par­ties when­ever they were charged with wrong­do­ing.

“We are a po­lit­i­cal party and we should al­low a po­lit­i­cal party to take po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions. It’s un­ten­able to have a per­son who is pro­tected in power by the op­po­si­tion‚“Shafer said.

Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madik­izela‚ who is gun­ning for De Lille’s job sup­ported the amend­ment, say­ing that pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives were mem­bers of the DA be­fore they oc­cupy of­fice.

DA MP Dean Macpher­son cau­tioned against mem­bers who looked af­ter their own in­ter­ests and not those of the party.

“I think we should be very clear that as the DA moves to new wa­ters in lead­ing gov­ern­ment‚ we can’t al­low gov­ern­ments to be held hostage by spe­cial in­ter­est groups out­side of the DA‚“he said.

But not ev­ery­body sup­ported the move. East­ern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga warned against the party mak­ing changes that favour in­ter­ests of cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als.

“No in­di­vid­ual must hold the party to ran­som but ev­ery­body has a right to fair­ness‚“he said

The party has how­ever de­fended the move, claim­ing it was not di­rected at De Lille, how­ever, re­cent events have ne­ces­si­tated a means for the party to re­move an of­fice bearer in which it has lost con­fi­dence.

Spokesper­son, Re­filoe Nt’sekhe said the clause was more about ac­count­abil­ity more than any­thing else.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity for us as the lead­er­ship of the or­gan­i­sa­tion to now say go­ing for­ward when there are chal­lenges, we have this lee­way to re­call may­ors or any other pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive,” she said.

The party has vowed to fight the pro­posed land ex­pro­pri­a­tion bill be­ing dis­cussed. The DA said it would fight un­til the end.

Par­lia­ment is cur­rently in the process of re­ceiv­ing pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tions on its res­o­lu­tion to amend sec­tion 25 of the con­sti­tu­tion to land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

Re-elected part leader Mmusi Maimane said ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion would not fast-track land resti­tu­tion. In­stead it would put valu­able land in the hands of the state.

He said the party’s stance on land re­form was that it was at­tain­able with­out chang­ing the con­sti­tu­tion.

“The ANC gov­ern­ment has failed the peo­ple of South Africa on land re­dis­tri­bu­tion and now want to blame the con­sti­tu­tion. I want our peo­ple to own land in their own right as in­di­vid­u­als,” said Maimane.

DA MP Thomas Wal­ters said land was cur­rently a very po­lit­i­cally con­tentious is­sue.

“The pur­pose of this res­o­lu­tion is to reaf­firm that the DA has the an­swer to land re­form.

“We have the right prin­ci­ples, and we want to tell South Africans of all back­grounds that we have the an­swer. The State ex­pro­pri­at­ing land is not jus­tice. We want peo­ple to own land,” he said.

The DA also out­lined five plans it would im­ple­ment should it be in power. They were:

• Di­ver­sify their own party

• Pre­vent land ex­pro­pri­a­tion

with­out com­pen­sa­tion

• Drop VAT back down to 14%

• Job seek­ers can opt out of Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage • Cut the size of Cab­i­net and

pub­lic sec­tor bonuses

The party also elected new lead­ers dur­ing the con­fer­ence.

Maimane was re-elected un­con­tested along with the party’s fed­eral coun­cil chair­man, James

Selfe, who is also the head of the fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive.

Athol Trol­lip de­feated Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga and DA Free State chair­woman An­nelie Lotriet for the po­si­tion of Fed­eral Chair­per­son.

Dion Ge­orge got the nod for the po­si­tion of new fed­eral fi­nance chair­man and Thomas Wal­ters was re-elected as deputy chair­man of the fed­eral coun­cil.

The po­si­tion of deputy fed­eral chair­men went to Ivan Meyer as first deputy, Wa­ters as sec­ond deputy and Re­filoe Nt’sekhe as third deputy.



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