De Lille saga: 'Black DA leaders a front for a white cabal', says Western Cape ANC

The ANC in the Western Cape says it has "noted with deep concern the very serious charges of deep-seated racism" in the DA made by senior DA members who resigned in protest at Thursday's dramatic City of Cape Town council meeting.

Shortly after embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille defended herself against allegations of maladministration and turning a blind eye to corruption, calling them "racist bully attacks", chief whip Shaun August rose to announce his resignation as chief whip and DA councillor. 

A few minutes later mayoral committee members Suzette Little and Siya Mamkeli and councillors Greg Bernado and Thulani Stemela followed suit. Each hugged De Lille as they left the chamber.

Addressing the media shortly after their exit, they blamed racism in the DA as their motivation for leaving the party.

"We're just gatvol," August lamented.

READ MORE: 'We're just gatvol' – Shaun August upon leaving the DA

ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said in a statement on Friday: "South Africa watched senior DA members resigning in protest against racism in that party as it was beamed live on television from a meeting of the City of Cape Town yesterday. 

Black DA leaders 'a front for a white cabal'

"Those DA members, who held very senior and well-paying positions in the City of Cape Town, clearly could not bear the racist, toxic environment inside the DA any longer. The fact that the DA's chief whip in the City, Shaun August, and four of his colleagues left their jobs for an uncertain future tells us just how badly they were treated inside the DA."

Jacobs said the ANC had long held the view that African, coloured and Indian members of the DA, including party leader Mmusi Maimane, were simply being used as a front for a white cabal that is firmly in control of the DA. 

Jacobs said governance in the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town had suffered major setbacks under the DA and insisted that the ANC would not allow ordinary people to continue suffering.

During Thursday's meeting, the council adopted two reports by Bowman's into maladministration and corruption at the council, which meant De Lille, mayoral committee member Brett Herron and some officials would be subject to disciplinary investigations by the City and criminal investigations by the police.

READ: Corruption and confusion: DA stands firm on criminal probe into Patricia de Lille and co

DA leaders in the City and province said they found it strange that their former colleagues chose to resign shortly before the council was expected to deal with corruption.

According to DA Cape Town metro chairperson Grant Twigg, no charges of racism were laid against any of its caucus members.

Party 'relieved' at resignations

Mayoral committee member JP Smith said the disgruntled former DA members were making those claims "to deflect from what is at hand".

Smith said the corruption allegations against De Lille and others were a test for the party.

"And to our credit, when we realised something was wrong, we did something about it," Smith said.

"You can now engage in as much race-baiting and hate-mongering as you want, it is not going to change the facts.

"Our relief at their resignation exceeds their relief at resigning."

De Lille said on Wednesday that she will seek legal advice and will study the respective reports.

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