DA Cape Town caucus agrees to ask for new De Lille no confidence vote

The Democratic Alliance's Cape Town caucus has resolved to write to its federal executive to ask for permission to table a new internal motion of no confidence in mayor Patricia de Lille.

Deputy caucus leader JP Smith confirmed to News24 that the caucus met on Monday, and resolved to initiate new proceedings against the embattled mayor.

The DA amended its constitution at its federal congress last weekend to include a "recall clause" for members elected to an executive post, like de Lille.

According to the new rules, if a member in an executive post has lost the confidence of his or her caucus, that caucus could lobby the party's FedEx to remove that deployee.

Smith said that two-thirds of the caucus agreed to a move to write to the FedEx asking for permission to table a fresh motion of no confidence in de Lille, as per the new rules.

Roughly 10% abstained, while the rest, approximately 23%, voted against it.

They would now await the decision of the federal executive before proceeding with the matter.

If the FedEx approves, they will vote on a new internal motion, to be held at a special caucus meeting, where DA councillors will vote via secret ballot.

Were that to pass, the outcome is then sent back to the Federal Executive for a final resolution, where they will decide whether to activate chapter 6 of the DA's constitution, the new 'recall clause'.

A vote of no confidence requires a 50% + 1 threshold to pass.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane told journalists in Parliament earlier on Monday morning that he had not yet been approached by the Cape Town caucus on the matter.

According to the party's new Constitution, the autonomy lies with the respective caucuses in matters such as these.

"I would want to allow the autonomy to occur because I will act eventually in the position of referee rather than in fact juror on this matter," he said.

De Lille meanwhile told News24 after the adoption of the recall clause last weekend that she would seek a legal intepretation of its implications.

For now, she is simply proceeding with her battle to clear her name, including a fight to have a disciplinary hearing open to the public.

"My name has been smeared in public and I believe it must be cleared in public. I'm not married to any position, but I need to clear my name," she told News24 after the recall clause was adopted.

"Integrity is something none of us can buy. These accusations by the DA, that I'm corrupt and I'm covered in corruption, everyone in this country knows I've been fighting corruption all my life."

The Western Cape High Court is also due in May to rule on De Lille's application to set aside a report which made findings against her compiled by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

De Lille narrowly survived a similar motion of no confidence in her leadership in the city council by one vote at a sitting in February, after a portion of the DA caucus voted with most of the opposition parties against the motion.

CORRECTION: This story incorrectly stated that the issue would be debated in the Cape Town city council were the FedEx to approve the caucus's request. Rather, the DA would hold an internal motion of no confidence, as per the new rules of the party.