Madikizela hits back at De Lille: 'Her relationship with the DA ended a long time ago'

Patricia de Lille. (News24)
Patricia de Lille. (News24)
A Kohlstock

The relationship between the DA and Patricia de Lille reached a point of no return "a long time ago", says the party's Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.

De Lille announced her resignation as mayor of Cape Town and DA member on Wednesday outside the Cape Town High Court, where she also filed an application to have the Bowmans report that led to criminal charges being laid against her, reviewed.

"They are real drama queens," she said of the DA. "There's a lack of substance. There is a lack of leadership."

READ: De Lille on possible ID revival: 'Give me two weeks, then we will talk'

She previously described the allegations against her as "racist bully attacks". At Thursday's council meeting last week five DA councillors resigned, and on Wednesday De Lille announced that two more councillors had resigned from the DA.

They cited victimisation and racism in the DA as their reasons for leaving the party.

The DA in the Western Cape has noted De Lille's resignation, Madikizela said in a statement. 

Claiming racism 'an old song' 

"For us, it's not the time to gloat or celebrate but a time to reflect, repair the damage and move on," he said.

"The truth is that the relationship between Patricia de Lille and the party came to an end a long time ago, it completely broke down to a point of no return."

He said the party noted the allegations of racism. 

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

"We reject these allegations with the contempt they deserve, they are disingenuous. It has become common for people to serve in positions of power and influence in the party, then cry foul and portray themselves as victims of racism – it's an old song."

He said race relations were part of the challenges South Africa was grappling with as a country because of its past.

"Our party is not immune to those challenges, but we cannot sacrifice accountability at the altar of racial victimhood," he said.

Party has faith in mayor-elect

He said the DA had noted the Bowmans report which raised allegations against De Lille, mayoral committee member Brett Herron and other City officials.

"We also respect their rights to defend themselves, we will wait for the outcome of that process."

He said the party remained resolute in honouring its commitment to the people of Cape Town to run a clean and accountable government.

"We have faith in the mayor-elect, Dan Plato, and our caucus to restore faith and confidence in our party," Madikizela said.

Plato, who served as mayor from 2009 to 2011, when De Lille took possession of the mayoral chain, will be sworn in as a councillor on Thursday morning. 

ACDP councillor Grant Haskin said his party welcomed De Lille's resignation.

Hope for stability

"This last year has been a period of unprecedented turmoil and uncertainty – not only for her, but for the city council, the administration and the ratepayers," he said in a statement.

"The entire matter of the allegations and counter allegations, the costly and time consuming investigations, the failed motions to remove her, the efforts to strip her of her executive power and make her a lame duck mayor has been handled very badly and it's been an embarrassment for the City and its DA government in particular."

He said he trusted the DA government would now bring some stability and credibility back to Cape Town.

"The ACDP has said from the beginning of this saga that all allegations must be investigated, the truth must be established, all those accused have the right and must have the opportunity to defend themselves, that they should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and ultimately the truth must be established and justice must be served," Haskin said. 

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