De Lille matter has gone on for too long - Maimane

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says the ongoing stand-off between his party and Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille must come to an end.

Maimane was on Monday sharing the DA federal council's resolutions from this past weekend's sitting, and agreed with journalists that the saga had created much uncertainty in the city.

He said Thursday's special city council meeting - where De Lille will face a motion of no confidence brought by her own party - must be decisive.

READ: Cape Town council Speaker seeks advice on De Lille's 'secret ballot' demand

"I would agree that it has been protracted. It's gone on for far too long. I've had enough of it, and it must and will be settled," Maimane told reporters at the party's Cape Town offices.

"It is important that the DA holds itself to particular standards. We want our governments to operate in a particular way and, without doubt, we can't have this matter carry on for months on end."

The party had followed its processes in investigating claims against De Lille over the past few weeks, and its federal executive had ratified the position to remove her, he said.

He also claimed it was a misnomer to say that the issue was only centred around De Lille. A number of other councillors were facing disciplinary charges for their conduct in the matter, including JP Smith, he said.

DA councillors won't be punished for vote

De Lille has asked the Western Cape High Court to grant certain interdicts when the motion is voted on: that councillors be free to vote, that it be done via a secret ballot, and that the DA's leadership cannot intervene.

ALSO READ: De Lille files urgent application over motion of no confidence against her

The matter will be heard on Tuesday.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe said the party assured councillors that they would be free to vote whichever way they wanted, and that no action would be taken against them.

There was also no discretion for council Speaker Dirk Smit to grant a secret ballot.

They would wait for the court judgment and Thursday's sitting before deciding the next step as the federal executive, as it would be "premature" to get involved before the council processes were finished.

'Time for fresh leadership in Cape Town'

"Federal Council discussed the matter of the imminent vote of no confidence in the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille," Maimane said on the federal executive's position on Monday.

"While the situation is unprecedented and painful to all in the DA, the time has come for a fresh leadership team in the City to take that caucus forward and restore the faith of the public in what has been the crown jewel of DA governments until recently.

"The new leadership of the City will have to unite that caucus and focus on delivering services ahead of the 2019 elections."

Unlike their opponents, they would not "sweep under the carpet difficult or embarrassing issues", and would act to the faith of the public, Maimane said.

"This is the standard we hold the ANC to, and we hold ourselves to, and it is amply demonstrated in this matter."

Last month, the federal executive authorised its caucus to table a motion of no confidence against De Lille in the city council, following allegations of maladministration against her.

If the motion passes, De Lille will have to resign, and the mayoral committee which she appointed will also be dissolved. A new mayor must then be elected within 14 days.

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