Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and the Democratic Alliance have not parted ways – despite the fact that she resigned as mayor of Cape Town yesterday.
The resignation only takes effect at the end of October and De Lille has committed herself to continue to work in the city council and as a member of the DA.
However, she said she has yet to decide on her long-term future in the DA, after the party dropped its disciplinary charges against her in an agreement that will see her step down as mayor on October 31.
While DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced De Lille and the party had reached a “mutual agreement”, De Lille vehemently denied this agreement constituted a deal under which she had to have the charges dropped against her.
“You must ask the DA what are the reasons they have withdrawn from the case. They have withdrawn because even in the court papers it says they lack evidence. I didn’t make a deal with the DA. I wanted to be able to clear my name and, now that I have, I will be ready to resign.”
Maimane said in a statement: “The DA has taken a decision to withdraw all internal disciplinary charges against Patricia de Lille.”
He added: “Any other investigations by the city are not covered by this agreement.
“As a party that prides itself on clean government, we were obliged to consider all allegations levelled against Ms De Lille. It is never easy to take action against one of your own. But I am confident that, throughout this painful period, we have acted in the best interests of the citizens we serve.”
Asked if she wasn’t concerned that resigning may make her seem guilty, the mayor said: “Not at all.”
De Lille said she would spend the next three months aiding in the handover period as the DA prepares to elect a mew mayor.
“Now that I have cleared my name, I can begin to apply my mind and think about the future I remain a member of the DA and I will be treated like any member, meaning we act according to the constitution of the DA. I will continue to put the party first as I have always done and as I have said I have not yet decided on what I will do next.”
Maimane acknowledged it “has been a long and difficult journey”.
“This matter has already gone on for too long and has sapped the energies and attentions of both parties from our core work, for which we apologise.” Maimane said the resignation was an opportunity for the city’s DA caucus to take stock, to regroup, and unite.
The process to elect a new mayor would begin immediately.
The DA acknowledged the mayor had led the DA’s government in the city since 2011 – for most part
with distinction. Her team had achieved four clean audits.
“We are pleased that this agreement opens the way for her to remain as a member of the DA,” Maimane said.
De Lille said: “I remain committed to investing whatever little time I have to contribute towards the transformation of the city. Our country is facing some massive challenges. The cost of living is on the increase daily, and the massive inequalities left by apartheid are still existent in our society today.”