De Lille Seeking Legal Opinion After Being Stripped Powers

PICTURE: Supplied

CAPE TOWN: The City of Cape Town council has agreed to reduce executive Mayor Patricia de Lille’s role to “ceremonial”, delegating her powers to her mayoral committee, with final oversight held by the council.

Council met for its last sitting on Thursday before the June recess, to discuss a number of items, including that of de Lille’s powers now that she has returned temporarily.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said two weeks ago that de Lille, upon being reinstated to her position by the Western Cape High Court temporarily, would only serve in a ceremonial capacity.

On Thursday, council passed a motion that agreed to designate “all delegations and legislative authority, including sub-ordinate legislation, conferred on the Executive Mayor”, with the exception of an appointment of a mayoral committee (Mayco), and with “certain provisions” for the exercise of “ceremonial duties”.

“Given the current state of affairs as observed by the court, and noting that ongoing legal processes may continue for some time, a new structure of power is required under the circumstances in order to ensure more effective service delivery than that which pertains in the status quo.

“This structure of power is in the interests of ensuring effective service delivery during a state of flux that is legally permissible,” the motion, tabled by deputy mayor Ian Nielson, read.

However, de Lille has told the Republic Mail that she is currently seeking legal opinion from her legal team. She denied any claims of going to court to challenge the decision. 

“I won’t be going to Court after the Council because I have I am preparing for my Court battle next week, instead I will be seeking legal opinion from my legal team,” she said. 

The motion passed by 137 votes to 50. Two councillors abstained.

The ANC and EFF rejected the proposal. The ACDP said it supported the move in principle, but not for short-term interests while the matter was before the courts.