De Lille’s D-Day shifts to end of January

Patricia de Lille, wearing a Democratic Alliance shirt.

Former City of Cape Town mayoral  committee member Simon Grindrod – once vice-president of the Independent Democrats, a party led by Patricia de Lille – says the mayor of Cape Town is facing “D-Day” tomorrow – Friday the 5th of January – as the DA attempt to remove her. This may, however, not be the case – as Friday’s meeting instead involves the investigation into an alleged cover-up of corruption, and De Lille’s future is apparently not the focus of this meeting

De Lille has until Friday 5 January to give her party, the Democratic Alliance, reasons why it should keep her on as the mayor of its flagship municipality. The news agency, EWN, reported that the mayor has also been the subject of a probe by law firm Bowman Gilfillan, which was appointed by the council to probe allegations of corruption levelled against her by a top aide in her office.

The top aide, Craig Kesson, reported in an explosive affidavit that De Lille and city manager Achmat Ebrahim covered up tender corruption – related to the MyCity bus transport system. This corruption was allegedly committed by Transport Commissioner Melissa Whitehead.

The Kesson claims are to be discussed at this special council meeting – which insiders say could determine her fate. But it is understood that only the issues related to the officials mentioned above would be dealt with at this meeting – and not the fate of the mayor, even though the mayor is a key figure in that investigation.

It was reported that the Speaker, Dirk Smit, had dismissed the possibility of a vote of no confidence in the mayor this Friday.

This legal report is before the city’s audit committee, EWN reported.

Meanwhile the African National Congress has requested a motion of no confidence in De Lille. It is expected that this will be tabled at the city council general meeting on the 31st of January.


It looks likely now that De Lille will survive to the end of the month as mayor – as that appears to be the earliest opportunity for a vote of no confidence. Rumours are flying among DA councillors.  Some say that JP Smith, the safety and security mayoral committee member, will be elected mayor. Others say the Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson is in line – albeit temporarily – for the top post.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Grindrod – who served as an ID coalition member when Helen Zille, the then DA leader, was mayor of Cape Town – conducted a poll, asking: “What do you think she (De Lille) should do?”

The largest response to the poll – some 45% of respondents- was: “Fight them to the end.”

A significant 24 percent said: “Who cares?”

Some 20 percent said: “Resign quietly and go.”

Some 11 percent said they did not live in Cape Town.

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