Nkohla’s credibility in black communities an asset to the DA - De Lille

2018-01-30 20:03
Loyiso Nkohla and Patricia de Lille. (File Gallo Images)

Loyiso Nkohla and Patricia de Lille. (File Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town welcomed former ANC councillor Loyiso Nkhola into the DA when the party needed votes, but is now giving him the cold shoulder, Mayor Patricia de Lille has said.

In a submission to the DA's federal executive chairperson James Selfe, De Lille said Nkohla, whose appointment in the DA resulted in high-level concerns within the party, had been instrumental "in neutralising and defusing service delivery riots and protests" in several areas in the City.

"Nkohla has been a tremendous asset in the DA (City of Cape Town) administration in that he has enormous credibility in the black communities, especially in the informal settlements," she said.

'Better relations with black communities'

"His involvement for the [City] at this level has allowed the [City] to develop better relations with the people in the black communities in informal settlements, which has ultimately benefited the City and the party as a whole."

A report by a subcommittee, headed by chief whip John Steenhuisen, which was established by the DA's federal executive to look into political management in the City, had made scathing findings against De Lille.

It also found Nkohla's "increasingly central role" in the City worrying.

READ: The DA's scathing findings against power-drunk De Lille

The subcommittee's report said: "It remains unclear why he is allowed to wield so much influence within the city and why he appears to enjoy the ongoing patronage and protection of the mayor."

Earlier this month, News24 reported that Nkohla was recently promoted from a position in the City to a role which, according to the City's website, has attached a figure of more than R750 000 to it.

De Lille’s submission to Selfe, which detailed why she should not resign as mayor and why the DA should not proceed with a motion of no confidence against her, said she wondered why Nkohla's employ had become such an "emotional issue".

'Nkohla was welcomed when votes were needed'

"When we needed the votes, the party welcomed Mr Nkohla with open arms, surely it is not now suggesting that the City has no use for him at all?" she asked.

Nkohla, a former ANC councillor, was previously a leader of Ses'khona People's Rights Movement – an organisation which made headlines in 2013 when its members threw human faeces at the Cape Town International Airport, as well as other locations, to highlight the need for better sanitation in impoverished areas.

In 2016, he joined the DA. This move was frowned upon by some in the party.

De Lille, in her submission, said prior to Nkohla moving over to the City, the City and provincial government had experienced problems with the Ses'khona People's Rights Movement.

She said Nkohla, at that stage, had been on the ANC's election list, but he had an issue about how he was placed on it.

The provincial executive leadership, other regional leaders, among them De Lille, then met Nkohla.

'Inroads in ANC voters'

They, according to De Lille, discussed including him on the DA party list because of his wide support base and "his ability to make inroads into the ANC voters".

"There is no doubt that he then, and now, has a wide support base and commands huge respect in the black communities, in Cape Town and the Western Cape," she said.

Nkohla was not placed on the DA list, but De Lille said it became clear from the meeting with him that he was committed to work with the DA and was "prepared to mobilise and bring black people to the DA".

She said Nkohla had worked long hours during the election campaign in the Western Cape and attracted thousands of people.

'He contributed to the DA's election win'

"There can be no doubt that because he was part of the DA campaign and had aligned himself with the DA, he contributed to the DA's election victory," De Lille said. 

She said there had been a need for a position to coordinate community liaison officers.

"Because this is a so-called political position, the job was not advertised, De Lille said. 

Nkohla met the job requirements.

"The party had an objection to Nkohla being employed as executive support officer but no objection to him being employed as a community liaison officer at a lower rating and salary," De Lille said.

News24 previously reported that the subcommittee headed by Steenhuisen found that Nkohla was moved to mayoral committee member for water, informal settlements and waste services Xanthea Limberg's offices, to fill the role of a community liaison officer.

But the subcommittee's report said: "The mayor indicates in her submission that this was 'approved by Cllr Limberg'. This does not however seem likely, as Cllr Limberg has indicated to the subcommittee that she was in fact most uneasy about this arrangement."

Limberg, according to this report, had very little control of Nkohla and was not sure of what work he was doing.

In her submission and in response to this, De Lille said: "I cannot comment on Cllr Limberg’s apparent inability to deal with Nkohla as she has never complained to me about him.

'Speculation and conjecture'

It was not clear to De Lille why the subcommittee had found that Nkohla played a "central role" in the City's administration.

She said the subcommittee's report stated that it was unclear why Nkohla appeared to "enjoy the ongoing patronage and protection of the Mayor".

De Lille hit back at this saying: "Once again no objective facts are provided by the subcommittee to support such an assertion or statement.

"This appears to be based on nothing but speculation and conjecture."

Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  politics

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