The ANC in the Western Cape claims Patricia de Lille’s resignation as provincial DA leader shows the kind of power white cliques exert in the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The ANC in Western Cape asserted that Cape Town Premier Helen Zille and her acolytes press-ganged de Lille to resign because she was black and a woman, citing that former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was also thrown off the boat in the same way.
Mazibuko resigned in May 2014 after her public fall-out with Zille in November 2013 over the DA parliamentary caucus’s handling of employment equity legislation.
Speaking further, the ruling party asserted that her resignation was masterminded by a crop of Zille’s cadres, who are bent on retaining power in the white-led municipality.
Other political parties alleged that she was kicked out because of her ambition to succeed Helen Zille as Western Cape Premier.
Economic Freedom Fighters provincial chairperson Bernard Joseph said De Lille’s departure is a sign of in-fighting in the DA.
The African Christian Democratic Party’s Grant Hashkin added that De Lille’s ambitions to become premier led to the move.
“She’s been gunning for the premier of the Western Cape for the last couple of years and this is basically a victory for the DA old guard over an ID takeover.”
But DA leader Mmusi Maimane thinks otherwise. He said “there’s no validity to their argument, there’s no truth, there’s no basis and in fact it is quite disarming when you say to a black South African who is a leader in government – and we want her to focus on other government departments – that it is suddenly seen as a demotion.”
Despite being a good mayor and taking the DA to a new record in capturing two-thirds of the Cape Town vote in 2016‚ Patricia de Lille, on Monday, resigned as the provincial leader with effect from Wednesday, February 1.
In her resignation letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, she said she believes she has achieved the goals she set as the provincial leader, promising not to stand for election at the next congress.
De Lille added that she wants to focus on her goals as Cape Town mayor – which is implementing a transformation plan to “modernize and reform the government to improve service delivery”
De Lille’s goals which she claimed to have achieved include:
- Focusing on rural issues
- Winning new DA supporters in every municipality
- A leadership that wants to make a political home for everyone
- A leadership that communicates that we are a party of government
- A leadership that engages
- A leadership that shares lessons of government.
Apart from recording historic victories in the last municipal elections, de Lille is noted for her role in investigations into the country’s controversial Arms Deal.
She was the founder and the leader of the Independent Democrats in 2003. The ID later merged with the DA on 15 August 2010 but later got dissolved in May 2014.
De Lille became Cape Town mayor in 2011 after beating Grant Pascoe, Shehaam Sims and incumbent Dan Plato in the primary election.
The hallmark of her political career is her nomination as the 22nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans.
Meanwhile, the DA has since confirmed that Western Cape DA deputy leader Bonginkosi Madikizela will act as provincial leader until the DA’s Western Cape provincial council elects a new leader.
The next provincial council is scheduled to hold at the end of February.