'We're just gatvol' – Shaun August upon leaving the DA
25 October 2018
"We're just gatvol," Shaun August said as he explained the reasons behind his and four others' – Suzette Little, Siya Mamkeli, Greg Bernardo and Thulani Stemele – resignations as DA councillors in the City of Cape Town on Thursday.
August, who was also the chief whip, dropped his bombshell in Thursday's council meeting shortly after embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille delivered a speech in which she went on the counter-attack against allegations of corruption against her.
De Lille said it was a smear campaign and a "racist bully attack".
August rose in council and said it was De Lille's last speech as mayor, but it wouldn't be her last speech.
Four other DA councillors followed suit, and all embraced De Lille before leaving the chamber.
At a press conference shortly after with the other recently resigned DA-councillors, August said journalists should make of the events what they will.
A 'new order' needed in Cape Town
The five former councillors were coy when asked if the plan was to start a new party.
Little said they must still decide on a "way forward".
"It was this last week that we just had enough."
Bernardo said: "We are servant leaders. Tomorrow will be the same, we'll just not be paid for it."
He said Cape Town and the Western Cape needed a "new order". "What that will be, I do not know."
"We will make sure in 2019 the DA is relegated to the opposition!" said Mamkeli.
'We will fight the DA'
Like De Lille in her speech, the five renegades complained about racism in the DA.
"If you go to UCT (University of Cape Town) and you're white, you'll get a job at the DA," said Stemele. "We will never be used as puppets to convince our people.
"We will fight the DA to the core of the bone."
Little said there were more DA councillors who felt the same way.
"Unfortunately people must put food on the table," Little said.
August said they had been unhappy since February and had spoken about their feelings among themselves again last week.
Doubts over De Lille resignation
On Thursday the council was due to adopt two reports on maladministration in the City.
The leak of one of them – compiled by law firm Bowmans – had caused speculation that De Lille would not resign as mayor after all in Cape Town at the end of the month.
During questions in council on Thursday, De Lille did not openly say she would rescind her August decision to resign, but did suggest that, if new charges were brought against her based on the report, she would not allow a "dark cloud" to hang over her.
DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela on Thursday said in a statement that the party "notes" the resignation of the five councillors from the City of Cape Town caucus.
"We will await a full report from our caucus leadership in the City. We wish them luck in their future endeavours," he said.
"We look forward to the mayor elect, Dan Plato, [bringing] much-needed stability, unity of purpose and mature leadership. Our focus always has been delivering to the residents of Cape Town, the people who elected us."