DA ex­posed in the De Lille saga

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

THE MAN­NER in which for­mer Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille was treated by the DA has served to ce­ment the view that the party is in­tol­er­ant of as­sertive, in­de­pen­dent, black women in its lead­er­ship.

It must be re­mem­bered that the young and in­tel­li­gent Lindiwe Maz­ibuko was pushed into the po­lit­i­cal wilder­ness af­ter a fall­out with for­mer party leader He­len Zille.

De Lille re­signed as mayor and mem­ber of the DA on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a bit­ter pub­lic show­down with the up­per ech­e­lons of the party.

It is now safe to con­clude that the DA was throw­ing dirt at De Lille with the in­ten­tion that it would stick.

How­ever, the for­mer PAC and In­de­pen­dent Demo­cratic (ID) politi­cian was able to out­smart her ri­vals in the party.

This pub­lic fist­fight and court cases did a lot of dam­age to the DA brand, with many po­lit­i­cal ob­servers and the elec­torate ques­tion­ing the party’s abil­ity to lead, if elected, in next year’s crit­i­cal gen­eral elec­tions.

While the DA would un­doubt­edly re­main at the helm of the Western Cape gov­ern­ment af­ter the polls, the De Lille saga may lead to an ex­o­dus of coloured and African vot­ers from the party.

De Lille’s next po­lit­i­cal move is go­ing to be crit­i­cal in guid­ing how the DA re­sponds to this fall­out, while the re­vival of the ID is un­likely to have the de­sired po­lit­i­cal im­pact, as it will con­fine her to the prov­ince of the Western Cape.

How­ever, if De Lille ei­ther joins the ANC or opts to go to bed with Julius Malema’s EFF, then that is likely to be a gamechanger for the South African po­lit­i­cal scene.

In­deed, in­ter­est­ing times are ahead for us in 2019.

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