Departing De Lille allies ‘cannot face what must happen’, says DA’s JP Smith

Cries of racism by five Patricia de Lille allies who quit the City of Cape Town and the DA on Thursday have been dismissed as a “hollow claim”.

Mayoral committee member JP Smith‚ author of a damning report in 2017 which sparked a DA investigation of De Lille‚ told a news conference: “How could it be that your core reason for leaving a party is one of which no official complaint has already been made?”

Smith said the five councillors who quit — Shaun August‚ Suzette Little‚ Siya Mamkeli‚ Greg Barnardo and Thulani Stemele — had simply reached the point where “they cannot face what must happen.”

All of them are proportional representation councillors‚ meaning no by-elections will be needed to replace them and the DA will retain its two-thirds majority in the city council chamber.

De Lille is due to vacate the mayoral office on October 31‚ two months after agreeing on her resignation with DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

There have been reports this week that she is considering retracting her resignation in order to fight the findings of a forensic investigation by law firm Bowman Gilfillan which says she should be reported to the police for attempting to prevent the former city manager fulfilling his legal obligations.

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