CAPE TOWN – Cape Mayor Patricia de Lille is likely to know her fate in the next 24 hours.
The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Federal Executive will meet Sunday to decide if she should be given the boot following allegations of misconduct.
At least one political analyst believes the DA may face tough consequences for taking on de Lille without having concrete proof against her.
De Lille is accused of sowing division, and overlooking corruption and maladministration in council – allegations she refutes.
Political analyst Sanusha Naidu said: “It’s difficult for somebody sitting on the outside, for the ordinary citizen on the outside, looking at de Lille and saying, how is she a corruption enforcer? How is she overlooking these things when she was actually an anti-corruption activist? I have a feeling that this is where she’s going to take the fight to them.”
Naidu believes the absence of real proof could point to a more sinister motive at play, with clear racial undertones.
“This is about trying to scratch to find evidence against her and so, it’s all little things that they’re trying to put together. But the fact of the matter is, she’s a corruption fighter. She’s been hell bent on anti-corruption…
“It’s also about the fact that she’s fighting for the poor. She’s got a pro-poor policy growth plan, she’s against the gentrification of Woodstock and other such development plans in the city. She’s trying to integrate the city towards bringing people closer to services, to service delivery, rolling out service delivery. But I have a feeling that it goes against the more mainstream policies in the DA.”
While the drama unfolded publicly, DA leader Mmusi Maimane remained mum.
He directed all questions to Federal Executive chairperson James Selfe.
The Federal Executive says there are no formal charges against de Lille, but it is meeting to thrash out whether the party has lost confidence in her.
There are a number of ways this could all play out.
Naidu however believes that no options will be in de Lille’s favour.
One of the options would be to remove her completely while another option would be to keep her with conditions attached, but it remains unclear if de Lille would accept such a scenario.
”The third scenario is one where they may actually decide to curb her powers within the party,” Naidu explained.
Naidu warns the DA has become too complacent in Cape Town and the Western Cape and the de Lille issue may come back to haunt them in the 2019 polls.