Guest Column

Solly Malatsi: 'De Lille has been dishonest from the start'

2018-06-27 11:40
Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24)

Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24)

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Solly Malatsi

The Democratic Alliance noted the decision handed down by the Western Cape High Court this morning in the matter between the party and Ms Patricia De Lille. The DA will now consider all our legal options including appealing the decision as we believe it is incorrect in law but more importantly we do not believe it puts the people of Cape Town first.

Political leadership is about taking the people you lead along with you and Ms De Lille has not enjoyed the support of her own caucus for months now. Not only has the City of Cape Town caucus expressed a lack of confidence in her twice but they have also described her leadership style as divisive, autocratic and made it difficult for councillors to do their jobs. 75% of this caucus has found that De Lille no longer has the best interests of the people of Cape Town at heart; under such circumstances any responsible and accountable leader would have done the honourable thing and resigned. But De Lille has shown that for her, this is all about her ego and desire to hang on to power.

What should concern each of us is how dishonest De Lille has been with the public from the very start. She claims to be in pursuit of fairness and wants a chance to clear her name, but she has repeatedly dodged every question that seeks to hold her accountable. Most of these questions simply require a yes or no answer.

For example, De Lille has been asked on countless public platforms whether she had sent the SMS to Councillor Xanthea Limberg asking that the then city manager be scored higher because "she wants to keep him". De Lille refused to answer the question.

Second, De Lille has been asked to confirm if she unduly influenced the appointment of Limia Essop because she has a personal relationship with her. This is a simple question, right? Well, not for De Lille.

Furthermore, she has also been asked why she publicly attacked and sought to intimidate the two whistleblowers in the City, including the City’s most senior black manager, when the claims they made have been vindicated by numerous processes.

Instead of responding to these questions, De Lille has instead lambasted everyone who has brought these issues to the fore for investigation and she has sought to confuse and mislead the public at every turn.

It is also worth noting that Ms De Lille personally drove the Foreshore Freeway project. Under her direct leadership this deeply flawed process led to multiple appeals. Upon review it is now clear that, following legal advice, this tender could well now be cancelled in its entirely. In so doing Ms De Lille has exposed the City to massive financial and reputational risk.

The caucus has since removed De Lille from drought and water management and this has allowed the City along with residents to save this scarce resource as we all fight to push back Day Zero for 2018 and 2019. Officials have now been able to do everything possible to save water and to put in place a plan.

The DA deeply regrets what a confusing time this has been for the people of Cape Town and South Africans more broadly. It is difficult for any political party to engage in a protracted and messy battle with its public representatives. For the DA the decision to hold De Lille accountable has not been difficult as we will always honour the faith the people of Cape Town have placed in our party to govern in their best interests.

In light of all the charges against her and the fact that her continued leadership will seriously compromise service delivery in the city, the caucus will forge ahead and propose a motion of no confidence in De Lille. This is the right thing to do.

Unlike other political parties, we are committed to rooting out corruption and maladministration even if it shows itself where we govern; we will always place people ahead of politics. 

- Solly Malatsi is the DA's national spokesperson.

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Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  solly malatsi
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