“Patricia de Lille is no longer the mayor of Cape Town because she is no longer a member of the DA,” the deputy chairperson of the Democratic Alliance’s federal executive, Natasha Mazzone, told AFP.
By being stripped of membership of the DA, South Africa’s largest opposition party, De Lille loses her seven-year-old position as mayor and on the city council as well.
“In the interim, Ian Neilson — the deputy mayor (who)… immediately steps in in the case the mayor is not there — will be taking over as from today,” Mazzone said.
The city council will meet at the earliest opportunity to elect a successor, Mazzone said.
Internal tensions over De Lille had been brewing in the DA for some time.
The embattled mayor was criticised for her handling of Cape Town’s water crisis and over allegations of corruption and maladministration, leading to two investigations that flawed her conduct.
The DA’s federal executive, James Selfe, charged on Tuesday that De Lille had “sought to delay the process at every step”.
“Instead of cooperating with the investigation, the Mayor challenged the Party’s processes by introducing a number of interlocutory matters, including that the hearing be open to the public and that it should be conducted by independent persons,” the party said in a statement.
The party also decided to rescind her membership over a radio interview where De Lille indicated her intention to resign from the DA as soon as she “had cleared her name”.
The DA is De Lille’s third political home.
She began her political career in 1989, serving in the Pan Africanist Congress before forming her own party, the Independent Democrats (ID) in 2003, which then merged into the DA in 2010.
De Lille was expected to hold a press briefing later.