- On Thursday, 5 councillors resigned from the DA, citing racism and victimisation, because they support the former mayor, Patricia De Lille
- The party's Natasha Mazzone has lashed out at the councillors, saying they resigned over a damning report into corruption and maladministration
- Patricia De Lille has denied the claims, calling it a smear campaign against her
The Cape Town councillors that resigned on Thursday, 25 October, left because of a damning independent report, the DA said.
The report allegedly reveals the criminal conduct of mayor, Patricia De Lille, and Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport.
It was reported earlier that the 5 councillors cited that they resigned over racism in the party, as well as the victimisation of those believed to be supporting De Lille’s.
Briefly.co.za reported on Thursday that along with August, four other members have also resigned. These were Thulani Stemele, Siyabulela Mamkeli, Greg Bernardo, and Suzette Little.
The resignations come shortly after De Lille addressed her rivals and critics during her last council meeting.
But, the DA's Natasha Mazzone quickly clapped back at the councillors who resigned, saying the councillors were fierce defenders of De Lille.
Mazzone said the resignations didn't come to a shock to the party. According to IOL, she added the DA will not be stopped from holding those who are found wanting accountable.
In a scathing response, Mazzone said:
“It is no coincidence, as the timing of their resignation was a clear attempt to distract from the damning independent report into the possible criminal conduct of Patricia De Lille and Brett Herron."
A forensic report, by Bowman Gilfillian, into corruption and maladministration was adopted by the city's council.
It suggested criminal charges against De Lille, Herron, Achmat Ebrahim, the former municipal manager, as well as Melissa Whitehead, the former executive director, Melissa Whitehead.
According to Mazzone, the report found De Lille failed to bring the matter to the city council's attention. It found that in this regard, she also failed at her duties as mayor.
Mazzone said De Lille will be charged under s119 of the Municipal Systems Act.
Mazzone also added that the breakdown of governance under De Lille's leadership caused the DA unnecessary legal and financial risks, which will amount to billions.
Meanwhile, De Lille denied the allegations against her:
"It is crossly unacceptable that councillors will leak information with malicious intent to injure my name. But this is nothing new, I’ve suffered vicious attacks to my good name for more than a year."
In August, after failed court battlers and motions of no confidence against De Lille, she agreed to step down as Mayor of Cape Town.
De Lille and the DA reached a mutual agreement in which they would withdraw all internal disciplinary processes against her.
At the time, DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, said De Lille will still have to answer charges brought upon her by the City.
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