After much speculation around when the axe will fall, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has formally charged Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille on Sunday. The party’s Federal Executive has recommended that De Lille be investigated by its legal commission for acting in a manner that negatively reflects on the image of the party.

The party’s highest decision-making body met earlier on Sunday to discuss De Lille’s future. At a media briefing on Sunday afternoon the party’s leader Mmusi Maimane said that De Lille has made misleading and distorting public statements and her remarks have been deeply disappointing.

The charges against De Lille range from bringing the party into disrepute, refusing to comply with party decisions, undue interference and failing to perform duties and responsibilities. Maimane also stressed that there was clear evidence of divisive, autocratic leadership from De Lille which has created a paralysing culture of fear.

De Lille remains suspended from the party. The Federal Executive Commission has been requested to handle the disciplinary process within 60 days.

It has been an on-going public spat between De Lille and the party as the DA prepares to welcome new leadership. De Lille was suspended last year from all party related activities after allegations of maladministration surfaced.

Tension started after she shut down a special investigating unit looking into corruption. The City’s Mayco member, JP Smith, reported the matter to the DA. He has also been suspended from all party activities.

Just earlier on Sunday De Lille attended a church service in Langa at the World Harvest Christian Ministry, where a special prayer session was held for her.

Here, an emotional De Lille sat while ministers prayed over her. She was visibly upset and sat quietly, wiping her tears away.

She also addressed congregants: “The only thing that I am asking for and I am not asking for alot, I am only asking for a fair trial. Charge me if I have done something wrong. Put me in front of a committee who can test those charges. But don’t find me guilty even before you have charged me,” she pleaded.

Picture: @LA_JANSEN

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