Is Patricia de Lille Approaching Her Day Zero As A Mayor Of Cape Town?

Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille address the councilors during their council meeting. PICTURE: Esa Alexander

CAPE TOWN: The 18-month battle between the DA and its mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, was expected to come to an end on Wednesday… but would probably won’t.

The DA is insistent that De Lille honour their agreement and resign as mayor on Wednesday, while De Lille disputes that they ever had an agreement and is on a mission to clear her name of what she calls a smear campaign against her.

In August, De Lille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane appeared side by side at a media conference to announce that De Lille will resign as mayor come October 31, and the DA will drop its internal charges against De Lille.

Last week, reports by the law firm Bowman’s were leaked before they got adopted by the city council on Thursday, eliciting a response from De Lille. The recommendations in the Bowman’s reports do not relate to the DA’s internal charges, which they agreed to drop.

On Tuesday afternoon, the deputy chairperson of the DA’s federal council, Natasha Mazzone, said in a statement that the DA’s lawyers wrote to De Lille’s lawyers stating that they expect her to resign as previously agreed upon.

De Lille, however, disputes that she had a deal with the DA.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Monday, De Lille said: “I didn’t make a deal with the DA at all.”

According to an Independent Political Analyst, Molifi Tshabalala, “it will be difficult for her to hold onto power with her supporters having resigned as both DA councillors and DA members.” 

“The DA may pass a non-confidence motion in her and without their support, she may have to go. It will be very embarrassing for her to be booted out in such a fashion,” Molifi added. 

Meanwhile, Maimane is calling on her to be honourable to the agreement she signed.

“I have a resignation letter, that’s the basis upon in which I work from, and I would like for us to honour the agreements that we make because that’s what makes us who we are. To say you are an honourable member, then you need to honour things that you agreed to do.”

Maimane says while he acknowledges the role De Lille played in the struggle against apartheid, she must answer to allegations against her.

“We can’t cover up allegations of corruption.”

So, what happens if De Lille withdraws her resignation today?

“The retraction of her resignation will be something that she will need to explain,” Maimane added.