DA federal exec green lights caucus request to hold motion against De Lille

2018-04-18 12:01
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks during an interview in Cape Town. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks during an interview in Cape Town. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

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The Democratic Alliance's federal executive has acceded to the DA Cape Town caucus's request to hold an internal motion of no confidence in Mayor Patricia de Lille.

Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela confirmed to News24 that the party's federal executive had made the decision during a special meeting held via teleconference on Wednesday morning.

This after the DA's Cape Town caucus on Monday requested that the federal executive consider its request.

The Cape Town caucus will now decide a date for a special caucus meeting, where De Lille's fate will be voted on by DA councillors.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe told News24 on Wednesday that the federal executive would not be the body to communicate the message, leaving the next step in the hands of the Cape Town caucus.

Deputy Cape Town caucus leader JP Smith, who is deputising for De Lille while she is suspended, confirmed that they had received feedback from the federal executive, but could not share the contents yet.

The caucus would first need to be informed of the decision, before it would be elaborated on publicly.

He said the matter was definitely in the public interest and that they would update the media on the next steps as soon as possible.

Two-thirds in favour of holding motion

In an earlier conversation, Smith said the caucus was just looking for finality to the saga that has run for almost a year and a half.

The party's Cape Town caucus resolved on Monday to write to the federal executive to ask for permission to table a new motion, as per the party's new rules.

The DA amended its constitution at its federal congress last weekend to include a "recall clause" for members elected to an executive post, like De Lille.

According to the new rules, if a member in an executive post has lost the confidence of their caucus, that caucus could lobby the party's federal executive to remove that deployee.

Smith said on Monday that two-thirds of the caucus had agreed to the move. Roughly 10% abstained, while the rest voted against it.

Should the motion pass, the outcome will then be communicated back to the federal executive for a final resolution. It will decide whether to activate the new "recall clause" in chapter 6 of the DA's constitution.

A vote of no confidence requires a 50% + 1 threshold to pass.

'Recall clause is a De Lille clause'

De Lille on Monday scoffed at the speed with which the party has acted following the adoption of the "recall clause" at its congress last weekend.

"The latest move by the DA caucus proves that the recall clause is a De Lille clause and that the DA's constitution was especially amended to have me removed," she tweeted on Monday.

The DA has previously denied that accusation when questioned about the clause being used to remove De Lille, claiming the party does "not legislate according to individuals".

Both party leader Mmusi Maimane and Selfe did, however, acknowledged in the run-up to the federal congress that the Cape Town saga had highlighted the need for the party to be able to remove deployees who had lost the support of their caucus.

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