De Lille ‘to launch new party’

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - QUIN­TON MTYALA and AYANDA MD­LULI

EX-CAPE TOWN mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille who this week de­clared “I am free, free from op­pres­sion”, and her loy­al­ists who sev­ered ties with the DA and the City are poised to start a new po­lit­i­cal party ahead of next year’s elec­tions.

An ally close to De Lille de­scribed a pos­si­ble new party as “to the left of the DA, but the right of the ANC – in the cen­tre”.

De Lille an­nounced her res­ig­na­tion as mayor and quit the DA this week af­ter she filed an ap­pli­ca­tion to have two Bow­mans law firm re­ports re­viewed and set aside.

In one re­port into cor­rup­tion and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion in the City of Cape Town, De Lille is found com­plicit in ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, while in the sec­ond re­port she is cleared of wrong­do­ing. The re­ports were tabled in council last week.

Speak­ing to In­de­pen­dent Me­dia, the DA’s for­mer chief whip in the City, Shaun Au­gust, said he and other De Lille sup­port­ers were mulling over sev­eral of­fers, one of which could be a new po­lit­i­cal party.

“I’ve been ap­proached by many peo­ple. Many po­lit­i­cal par­ties have asked that I join them and I’m still ap­ply­ing my mind on which di­rec­tion (I’ll go). We’re also ap­ply­ing our mind as a col­lec­tive should there be a con­ver­sa­tion, and move into a po­lit­i­cal space. So there’s no clear cut an­swer as yet,” said Au­gust.

“There are con­ver­sa­tions hap­pen­ing with in­di­vid­ual com­mu­nity lead­ers, we’re en­gag­ing con­stituen­cies, we’re en­gag­ing peo­ple whether they’re fun­ders or not,” said Au­gust, adding that he could no longer be part of the DA as he did not be­lieve that the party had the peo­ple’s best in­ter­ests at heart.

“I have had enough. There is an over-con­cen­tra­tion of re­sources for af­flu­ent com­mu­ni­ties which are mostly white, while our black com­mu­ni­ties such as Gugulethu, Khayelit­sha and Mitchells Plain are un­der-re­sourced.”

He iden­ti­fied a back-to-ba­sics in the pol­i­tics of South Africa.

“We still have kids go­ing to schools with bro­ken shoes, no lunch boxes, learn­ing on empty stom­achs with no pro­tec­tion. But in ar­eas such as Sea Point there is an over-con­cen­tra­tion of re­sources where po­lice are pro­tect­ing the af­flu­ent com­mu­ni­ties. When you speak out about these things, you get voted out and bul­lied within the party,” said Au­gust.

He de­nied that there were plans to re­vive the In­de­pen­dent Democrats (ID), adding that this made no sense.

On Thurs­day for­mer Cape Town trans­port and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment mayco mem­ber Brett Herron be­came the eighth coun­cil­lor to re­sign in two weeks linked to the De Lille fall­out.

Au­gust de­nied that there were plans to re­vive the In­de­pen­dent Democrats (ID), adding that this made no sense.

De Lille’s arch-critic in the DA and City of Cape Town, JP Smith, said he had heard that the ID would be re­vived un­der a dif­fer­ent name, adding that it was al­ready in the process of ac­quir­ing of­fice space.

A for­mer se­nior DA mem­ber in the Western Cape de­scribed the exit of the nine coun­cil­lors, in­clud­ing De Lille, as “a huge ball-buster” for the party. “It’s some­thing they still don’t know how to han­dle. They can’t com­pre­hend what is hap­pen­ing. They’ve not han­dled the sit­u­a­tion well with the me­dia; the usual me­dia spin that those peo­ple (who left) were cor­rupt is not work­ing.

“This week was a win for Pa­tri­cia and a huge loss for the DA, and it will take some time for them to re­cover.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.