Cape Town – The African National Congress in the Western Cape has labelled Patricia de Lille’s resignation from the DA’s provincial leadership as a “tipping point”.
The Cape Town mayor cited a need to focus on her work in the city as the reason for her resignation as Western Cape DA leader. She said the responsibility of a two-thirds majority weighed on her.
- Read more: De Lille resigns as DA Western Cape leader
But acting ANC Western Cape chairperson Khaya Magaxa believes this is a smokescreen.
He said De Lille had been a good mayor and had increased the party’s numbers in the metro and the province, which had led to her reappointment.
The ANC laid the blame for De Lille’s resignation on former party leader Helen Zille.
Magaxa said De Lille is a coloured in a 50% majority province and she could reach unimaginable heights.
“The ultimate fear of the DA establishment, however, is that the Western Cape is the DA's stronghold and base. Ideally it must remain in white hands, otherwise success of coloureds will mean there will never be another white leader in the heart of the DA,” he said.
“The DA may think they are taking power from ANC, but they are giving it to black people and their sponsors can’t stand it.”
De Lille’s resignation is effective from February 1, the party said.
In 2015, De Lille was re-elected to the position of Western Cape leader by over 1 000 delegates, beating her competitor, advocate Lennit Max, a former Western Cape police commissioner and DA MP.
In her resignation letter, De Lille said she would continue working with the party. But the province was ready for new leadership, she said.
“I think that the province is ready for fresh ideas and fresh leadership from a new generation that will challenge us and take us to new places in order to increase our support as the party enters the next phase of its evolution,” De Lille said.