Patricia de Lille fires parting shots at 'real drama queens' DA

Patricia de Lille celebrated her "freedom" from the Democratic Alliance on Wednesday by firing some parting shots in the direction of her now former party.

This happened as she announced her resignation as mayor of Cape Town and member of the DA. The latter announcement was greeted by cheers from her supporters.

Her first target was Cape Town speaker Dirk Smit, who seemingly accepted the letter she sent to DA leader Mmusi Maimane in August, stating that she will resign on October 31, as her resignation letter.

In her official resignation letter addressed to Smit, which she signed and read to the assembled journalists crowding around her on the steps of the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, she wrote:

"I note that you jumped the gun yesterday [Tuesday] by announcing that you have received a resignation letter from me. That letter, dated 4 August 2018, was not addressed to you, so that was a blatant lie."

READ: First Zille, now De Lille: Maimane's failed deals shows weak leadership

She said Smit "has started singing for his supper" after he released a statement on Tuesday informing the media that he had formally laid criminal charges against her and mayoral committee member Brett Herron.

These charges stem from a report by the law firm Bowmans into maladministration and corruption at the City of Cape Town. De Lille also announced that she had filed court papers to ask the court to review the report.

She said she would go ahead with the case, even if she was no longer mayor.

"My fight was for fairness and justice, never for positions," she said.

Zille and I the 'only two people in this party with struggle credentials'

De Lille has consistently described the allegations against her as a smear campaign. On Wednesday, she warned that the "idiots" who tried to smear her name had another thing coming, as she would continue to fight to clear her name.

"I'm as determined as ever to clear my name," she said. "I put my faith in the independence of the judiciary."

"After 18 months, I am free now, I'm free from this oppression and abuse," she said. "Amandla!" she cried, which was answered by an "awethu" from her supporters.

She said the DA "can do what they want", accusing the party of being "rudderless".

"They are real drama queens. There is a lack of substance. There is a lack of leadership."

She did, however, have a good word for one of her former colleagues in blue – Helen Zille.

"Helen Zille and myself are the only two people in this party with struggle credentials," she said.

She said Zille had acted as an intermediary in her strained dealing with the party and thanked her for her support.

'I wish I could know who the pastor really is'

When asked about DA leader Mmusi Maimane, she said: "I wish I could know who the pastor really is."

She said she respects him, and her advice to him was to take control of the party.

She said there was a campaign in the DA targeting members of her former party, the Independent Democrats (ID), which merged with the DA in 2010.

Her advice to them was: "They must fight their own battles, like I fight my own battles."

Former ID and DA members, like Shaun August, who resigned as chief whip in the city council on Thursday, and Rodney Lentit, were among De Lille's supporters on Wednesday.

De Lille also announced that two more councillors, Jonathan Cupido and Philiswa Maarman, had resigned from the DA. She said more resignations would follow.

DA welcomes De Lille resignation

Deputy chairperson of the DA's federal council Natasha Mazzone welcomed De Lille's resignation. 

"After a difficult and protracted journey, we will now finally put this matter behind us and focus purely on the people of Cape Town," she said. 

"Despite continuous vilification and insults from the outgoing mayor, the DA would like to take the opportunity to wish her well in her future endeavours.

"As a party we are proud that we stand almost alone in holding our public representatives to the highest possible standard of conduct – we hold everyone in the DA accountable for their actions, no matter their popularity, or history," Mazzone said.

"It is clear that people have long forgotten what political accountability looks like in practice. The DA had no choice to hold Ms De Lille accountable, and we will never apologise for doing so."

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