It is a day of reckoning as City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille faces the prospect of being removed during a scheduled motion of no confidence motion sponsored by the ANC.
According to information released by the party, De Lille will be censured for misconduct, maladministration and attempts to cover up corruption as well as her failure to manage the city’s water crisis.
De Lille’s party, the DA, said in a statement: “For the first time in Cape Town’s history, a Council-mandated independent investigation took the view that the sitting mayor had demonstrated behaviour and actions which constituted gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty and conduct that amounted to deceiving Council. This was on the basis of extensive prima facie evidence before the Council, which included the Mayor’s own representations.
“These prima facie findings have been supported by the fact that the Auditor-General has downgraded the City’s audit status from clean, to unqualified with conditions. This is untenable for a DA government to see a deterioration in its audit status, especially when such a regression is the direct result of the conduct of the Mayor herself. This is wholly unacceptable and is not in line with the DA’s commitment to clean, open and accountable governance.”
The party’s federal executive committee (Fedex) concurred with the finding of the auditor-general (AG) that concluded there was leadership failure at first-level assurance, which includes the executive mayor, and “subsequent governance breakdown that flows from that”.
The party also acknowledged allegations ventilated in the media “that the vast majority of financial findings relate to the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) that the Mayor has routinely and very publicly defended”.
The DA also agreed with the finding that there was “poor consequence management of senior managers, namely the Commissioner [Melissa Whitehead]”, and thereby showing poor leadership by “failing to allow officials to do their jobs and follow the control procedures of the law and regulations, as confirmed in the testimony of the former City Manager [Achmat Ebrahim] in the independent investigation mandated by Council”.
“The mayor has also been removed from directing the City’s response to the current prolonged drought. Her failure to manage this correctly and to communicate accurate information has played a material role in the current public panic and negatively impeded the City’s response to the current crisis.
“She actively withheld information, misdirected officials, delayed budget decisions, interfered with project plans and undermined the rollout of augmentation projects as a result. Furthermore, she failed to push national government to fulfill its legal responsibilities – at the cost and risk to the residents of Cape Town. This [in and] of itself has posed a massive governance risk,” the party said.
The ANC in Dullar Omar Region, Cape Town, told The Citizen they would not support “factional battles within the DA”. Regional secretary Vuyiso Tshalisisu could not confirm speculation that the ANC hasdwithdrawn its motion, thereby forcing the DA to submit their own motion 10 days from now. “Chief, no! I can’t share with you what we have decided to do. The DA will know, what is the point,” Tshalisisu quipped.