The Cape Town Council has voted overwhelmingly to strip mayor Patricia de Lille of her executive powers.
De Lille now has only a ceremonial role.
The motion was brought by deputy mayor and Democratic Alliance caucus leader Ian Neilson.
Hundred-and-thirty-seven councillors voted in favour of the motion and and 50 against, while two abstained.
The ANC and EFF rejected the proposal. The ACDP said it supported the move in principle, but not for short-term interests while the matter was before the courts.
De Lille, however, fired back in council, saying she reserved her rights in the matter, News24 reports.
“I must remind councillors that service delivery does not take place in boardrooms, but on the streets. This is going to severely hamper service delivery.
“If this is the route the council wants to take, [so be it].
“As I’ve said, I reserve my rights, and we will see each other in court.” At this the ANC councillors erupted into applause.
The ANC in Cape Town meanwhile claimed the DA was trying to change the mayor’s powers “through the backdoor”.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with service delivery and the interests of the poor, but more to do with their promises to special interest groups working behind the scenes,” ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe said.
“How can a mayor report to her mayoral committee?” added ANC councillor Thembelani Sakathi.
EFF councillor Andrew Arnolds said the changes were “unconstitutional”, and violated the Municipal Structures Act. De Lille must fight the changes “tooth and nail,” he said.
“There’s a fighter there that’s gonna deal with you. You can expect another court case to come,” he warned.
ACDP councillor Grant Haskin said the party supports the move in principle in the long-term, but said council could not risk the wrath of the High Court after it reinstated De Lille on the basis of the “status quo” remaining temporarily.
The Western Cape High Court meanwhile is due to sit on Monday to rule on De Lille’s application to intervene in the party’s decision to cease her membership.
The ruling will dictate whether De Lille can permanently return to her position, albeit ceremonially.
– Citizen reporter
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