5 Cape Town councillors leave the DA, claiming racism

Patricia de Lille says she will not give into ‘vehement and racist bullying tactics’ from the Democratic Alliance. Picture: Adrian de Kock
Patricia de Lille says she will not give into ‘vehement and racist bullying tactics’ from the Democratic Alliance. Picture: Adrian de Kock

Former DA chief whip Shaun August has slammed the Democratic Alliance for reducing black members to “foot soldiers” while white members make all of the board room decisions.

August took the council by surprise this morning when he announced his resignation as chief whip, councillor and as a member of the party. Four other councillors have also since resigned in support of mayor Patricia de Lille. They are Siya Mamkeli, Suzette Little, Greg Bernado and Thulani Stemela.

Mamkeli told reporters this morning that party leader Mmusi Maimane was nothing but a “puppet” while Bernado claimed that the party is only “advancing the interests of whites”.

Bernado went as far as to tell coloured and black voters to close the door on the DA when they hit the campaign trail ahead of next year’s general elections. Stemela claimed that jobs in the party are only reserved for white people.

In a statement which followed his dramatic exit, August accused the DA of rooting out black leaders.

“Over some time, I realised that the DA and its senior leaders epitomised control, protecting a white minority at the expense of their own senior black leaders, black constituents and our residents, who are formerly disadvantaged by apartheid. It is evident that many senior leaders in the DA nationally and over various provincial executives are racist. The same can be said for many of the party senior staffers,” August said.

“Where black faces are shown, their control lies by the white necks that turn them. And if you don’t say or do what they want, you are automatically worked out to be replaced by another black or coloured face. Many black and coloured public reps and activists are used as foot soldiers, whilst white senior leaders remain behind the DA boardroom tables and make decisions.”

Meanwhile De Lille has come out guns blazing against “racist and bullying tactics”, even as her future hangs in the balance.

“I have suffered vicious attacks to my good name for more than a year and still people are intent on destroying me,” the mayor told council this morning.

“It is a minority, but some who are in this council that are hell bent on smearing my name. But as I have said many times before, I will not be deterred.”

De Lille told City Press yesterday that there were two Bowman reports into her conduct with contradicting findings.

One, she claims, clears her of any wrongdoing, the other finds that she tried to influence the city manager in his duties.

Insiders, however, have told City Press that there is one Bowman report. It says that the first one was a preliminary report and the second one is the final report.

A special sitting of the Cape Town council is scheduled for later this afternoon to discuss the matter of the Bowman report.

De Lille said that if the house adopts the report, which found her to have acted inappropriately, she will not tender her resignation as was the agreement brokered by DA leader Mmusi Maimane two months ago. Dan Plato has already been announced as her successor.

I will not break and I will not give into these vehement and racist bullying tactics.

“I reserve my rights regarding any findings, recommendations or conclusions contained in the Bowman reports. Public representatives have gone so far as to spread fake reports about me purportedly from the Auditor-General showing their complete disregard for the office of the Auditor-General. I will very soon lay criminal charges against those party members who shared this fake news post on social media.”

De Lille is also demanding public apologies from those who claimed that illegal security upgrades were made to her home.

“I hope that those who were bold enough to make these allegations without the proof have the common decency to apologise for the reputational harm they have caused me.I already have affidavits from all the people in the so-called special investigating unit that they did not speak to the media except for one. I therefore challenge SIU staff member, Mthethuvumile Mantambo, to also give me an affidavit that he did not speak to the media.”

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