Western Cape Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Patricia de Lille’s resignation has opened up the door for her deputy Bonginkosi Madikizela to take over the reins in the province.
Who is Bonginkosi Madikizela?
Madikizela was a former member of the African National Congress (ANC). He rose to prominence in 2005 when he led a group of disaffected ANC members in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in a leadership battle against ANC’s Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Madikizela and his men were staunch loyalists of former Western Cape Premier, and ANC provincial chairman Ebrahim Rasool at the time.
He later joined the UDM in 2007, and was elected as Cape Town Metro regional secretary. Later, a party investigation found that he had secretly recruited party members to join the DA.
Afterwards, the City of Cape Town hired Madikizela as its communication officer and later a spokesman for the office of then Cape Town mayor Helen Zille.
In October 2008 he fully joined the DA and was subsequently appointed as Housing MEC by Helen Zille.
Bonginkosi Madikizela will lead the opposition party in the region until an elective conference can be held. The conference is likely to hold at the end of the year as announced by Maimane’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe.
“…. the deputy leader in the province Bonginkosi Madikizela will take over the leadership of the party until a conference is convened, which is most likely at the end of the year,” Seabe said.
Mayor Patricia de Lille submitted her resignation letter on Monday to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, citing that she resigned as DA leader in WC to focus on her mayoral work.
She further stated that the “responsibility of a two-thirds majority was weighing heavily on her”.
Maimane’s spokesperson Seabe confirmed the resignation, stating that it would come into effect from February 1.
Meanwhile, acting provincial leader Madikizela has refuted claims that there is a power tussle going on in the party following Patricia De Lille’s resignation as provincial chairperson.
He maintained that De Lille’s surprise decision has nothing to do with any alleged ‘war’ within the party, as speculated by party insiders, the African National Congress and media.
Information from DA insiders had it that De Lille and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille have been having clashes on leadership questions.
“There is a very serious contestation and interference on the leadership of the DA, a rupture between Hellen Zille and Patricia on leadership questions. The conservatives and liberals are fighting for their space,” the source said.