'I expected it. Now it's time for another fight' - De Lille after motion passes

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24)
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24)

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is not surprised by the result of the Democratic Alliance Cape Town caucus' successful motion of no confidence in her and is preparing for another fight.

De Lille was responding to media questions after 138 councillors debated and voted on her future in the Cape Town council chamber for three hours on Wednesday evening.

READ: DA caucus supports motion of no confidence in Patricia de Lille

The motion passed with a majority, but the official numbers will only be released later, deputy caucus leader JP Smith said afterwards.

"I've received thousands of messages today from ordinary Capetonians. That, for me, is what's important," De Lille said immediately after the result.

"I expected this to happen tonight, but this is just the beginning of another round for a fight.

"I've said I'm always ready for a fight, and I will fight for fairness and I've fought for freedom in this country. So really, we will just go on."

The DA's federal executive will now be seized with the matter and will invite De Lille to make representations to say why she should not be removed from her position.

'They brought up a whole lot of old stuff'

The motion was put on the table by councillor Angus McKenzie following the DA's approval of a so-called "recall clause" at its federal congress earlier in April.

De Lille didn't know when she would be called, but said she would be back at work tomorrow as the mayor until the federal executive process is completed.

Having attended the caucus meeting, she claimed many of her DA colleagues in the caucus brought up many untested allegations against her, which were "not backed up by facts, nothing".

"I asked them one specific question: according to the new De Lille clause, the recall clause, adopted by the DA congress, the vote of no confidence should be based on what happened after the congress, from April 9 onwards.

"But they brought up a whole lot of old stuff and definitions and whatever the case may be."

She made notes and was ready to take the next step in defending herself before the federal executive, as per the party's new rules.

De Lille will challenge recall clause in court if ousted

Just before the meeting De Lille told journalists that, if she has to, she would challenge the constitutionality of the recall clause in court. However, she would only do so once the federal executive process unfolded.

She would wait and see until then before deciding her next step. All she wanted was a chance to clear her name publicly during the already established disciplinary process against her.

READ: De Lille on DA's use of 'recall clause': 'If I must, I will go to court'

Once the federal executive receives her representations, it will make a decision.

If the federal executive ratifies the caucus' decision, she will be given 48 hours to resign. Failing that, her membership of the party will be terminated.

DA federal executive member Natasha Mazzone released a statement on behalf of the federal executive on Wednesday.

"This evening, 97 councillors voted for the motion, 41 voted against, 15 abstained/were absent and there was one spoilt ballot," she said.

Caucus 'lost confidence in de Lille'

She relisted the reasons that a majority in the caucus had lost confidence in their mayor, including alleged breaches in the code of conduct of councillors and the DA's constitution, her public criticism of the party in the way they've handled her case and her reluctance to "co-operate with the DA" going forward.

Mazzone also cited an "independent Bowman Gilfillan report" which apparently found prima facie evidence against the mayor, but the contents of which have yet to be made public.

READ: Confidential report reveals De Lille may be ‘guilty of gross misconduct’

She once again denied on behalf of the federal executive, that the party's new "accountability clause" was about De Lille. They would do everything possible to ensure "citizens' interests are top priority".

They would now afford De Lille the right to respond and defend herself and will then consider her representations.

If the federal executive ratifies the caucus' decision, she will be given 48 hours to resign. Failing that, her membership of the party will be terminated.

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