De Lille row could hob­ble DA

The Star Late Edition - - LETTERS -

THE Western Cape High Court rul­ing on Tues­day in the Pa­tri­cia de Lille ver­sus DA mat­ter ex­ac­er­bated a gen­eral feel­ing that the DA is do­ing it­self no favours in this saga.

That the court ruled in favour of De Lille in terms of sus­pend­ing her ces­sa­tion of DA mem­ber­ship, thus al­low­ing her to re­turn as mayor of the City of Cape Town, al­beit on an in­terim ba­sis, has to sound rather omi­nous alarm bells.

This mat­ter is des­tined to dam­age the DA as the party be­comes al­most im­pa­tient and con­de­scend­ing in its ap­proach to De Lille.

What is of con­cern to me and those who once sup­ported the DA, and those whose dis­il­lu­sion­ment with the party is on an ir­re­triev­able in­crease, is the fact the De Lille re­quested an open court for her dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

The DA, which boasts of “openness”, “trans­parency” and “ac­count­abil­ity”, missed a great op­por­tu­nity to walk its talk and al­low a hear­ing that was open to the pub­lic as re­quested by De Lille.

Ev­i­dently, both par­ties had “noth­ing to hide”, and it would not only have made for in­trigue but it would have shown the pub­lic that the DA meant what it said and was not sim­ply blow­ing hot po­lit­i­cal rhetoric to lure the un­sus­pect­ing.

Af­ter all, the DA does not go seek­ing for sup­port in the dead of night but uses pub­lic plat­forms to en­tice sup­port dur­ing the vote-har­vest­ing sea­son.

So it would fol­low that the pub­lic would have a vested in­ter­est in a high-pro­file mat­ter such as this – and by not al­low­ing it to be open to the pub­lic, “ac­count­abil­ity” and “trans­parency” be­come words of fu­til­ity that we all must be wary of.

The DA made ap­pli­ca­tions to courts to have matters tele­vised, claim­ing it was in the in­ter­est of the pub­lic.

So how dif­fer­ent is this? Us­ing the ex­cuse of it be­ing an “in­ter­nal” mat­ter does not hold wa­ter and I dare sug­gest that peo­ple must take no­tice of this for fu­ture ref­er­ence.

One can­not preach one thing and prac­tise quite the opposite and not ex­pect peo­ple to no­tice.

The state of dis­qui­etude in the DA has be­come pal­pa­ble and if the party be­lieves it is go­ing to depu­rate it­self of the “De Lille virus” that hangs like the sword of Damo­cles over it as this dole­ful saga goes on, then I am afraid the party might have mis­cal­cu­lated the feisty for­mer PAC mem­ber.

In the end it may well be, “it ain’t over till the PAC lady sings”, and the in­cubus that De Lille has be­come to the DA will surely haunt it in the fore­see­able fu­ture. Narendh Ganesh Dur­ban North


REINSTATED: The mat­ter be­tween Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille and the DA will haunt the party, says the writer.

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