The Democratic Alliance federal executive has denied having a hidden agenda behind its bid to oust Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
Yesterday, three former members of parliament came out in defence of the embattled mayor in response to the party laying criminal charges against De Lille for alleged bribery.
The new allegations, federal executive council chairperson James Selfe said, would be added to a slew of accusations she now has to answer to during the DA’s disciplinary proceedings against her. The case was prompted by an affidavit submitted to the party last week, in which businessperson Anthony Faul accused De Lille of soliciting a bribe from him.
De Lille yesterday questioned Faul’s timing as the accusations dated back to 2012. Former DA MP Lindiwe Mazibuko joined former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza in accusing the party of being biased towards powerful black women in the party.
“I am sick of people describing (De Lille) as “power drunk” as if this empty accusation can be legitimised by repetition,” she said on Twitter.
“A black woman’s ambition is not a crime. A black woman exercising power in elected office is not an aberration. We see you and your dog whistle politics,” Mazibuko said on Twitter.
“With great respect to my friend and colleague Lindiwe,” Selfe said in response, “I am not sure she has enough details to make an informed comment about its intricacies.” He said the party’s proceedings against De Lille had nothing to do with race.
“Two aspects in this that one has to separate are the serious allegations being made and the gender and race of the people against whom those allegations are being made. Every day I deal with dozens of allegations and disciplinary infractions that range from white women, black women, coloured men … I am currently dealing with a sexual harassment case involving a coloured man. Does that mean the DA is anti-coloured men too? With great respect, I would say that (Mazibuko’s) analysis is very shallow.”
A third former MP, Jan Gunda, who was a member of parliament under De Lille’s Independent Democrats, said he believed the DA was paving the way for a more malleable mayor of Cape Town, accusing the party of attempting to constructively dismiss her.
“So all these fights and problems she is having with the DA is because she doesn’t want to do what the federal executive tells her, there is no other reason. In terms of corruption, I don’t believe she would be involved in anything to with that.
“I would be shocked if she could be found guilty. What she is guilty of is being stubborn, she doesn’t listen to leadership and the DA wants to get rid of her. They want her out of the way to make way for certain people who want to do certain things,” Gunda told The Citizen.
“There is no agenda,” contended Selfe,” other than making sure the people of Cape Town have access to basic services like water and the city is run by a corruption-free, efficient administration.”