De Lille wins round one

African Times - - News -

AS the fight be­tween the Demo­cratic Al­liance and Pa­tri­cia de Lille rages on, the em­bat­tled mayor has been thrown a life­line by the courts. She has man­aged to se­cure a vic­tory that keeps her in her po­si­tion but its only tem­po­rary as the judge­ment in the en­tire case is ex­pected on May 25.

The case will how­ever shine a spot­light on the in­ter­nal dy­nam­ics of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. It will will leave the party bat­tered and bruised and there is no way that can be avoided. The re­cent res­ig­na­tion by Nosimo Balindlela from the party is just an­other sign of things to come for South Africa’s op­po­si­tion.

There are many ways one can look at the sit­u­a­tion in the DA but his­tory has taught us in South Africa that sym­pa­thy is a se­ri­ous cur­rency in pol­i­tics.

De Lille’s sack­ing and sub­se­quent ex­pul­sion has sim­i­lar­i­ties to what hap­pened to Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu when they were kicked out of the ANC. Fast for­ward to a few years later, they launched their own party and eroded the ANC’s sup­port base.

What’s dif­fer­ent with De Lille is that she al­ready had her own sup­port base when she merged her In­de­pen­dent Democrats with the DA. While she was within the DA and as a mayor, she grew that sup­port and at­tracted new vot­ers to her side.

The peo­ple of Cape Town, ma­jor­ity of them were in sup­port of her and her lead­er­ship style. That is why the de­ci­sion by the party was buf­fling to say the least. The en­tire de­ba­cle has ex­posed the high lev­els of in­tol­er­ance that ex­ists in the party.

In their de­sire to get rid of De Lille at all cost, they have opened them­selves up to pub­lic scru­tiny and have shown the dou­ble stan­dards they use to deal with mem­bers. De Lille was ac­cused of bring­ing the party into dis­re­pute but the same could not have been said about the way they han­dled He­len Zille when she tweeted about colo­nial­ism.

De­spite hav­ing de­fended her tweets and con­tin­u­ing to speak of such, she still re­mains a mem­ber of the party. She was not shown the door. The de­ci­sion will have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for the party head­ing into the 2019 elec­tions. The Demo­cratic Al­liance with Mmusi Maimane at the helm will lose ground and sub­se­quently that will open the flood gates for more blood­bath.

Once that hap­pens, Maimane him­self will be thrown to the dogs and met by the same treat­ment. There is a say­ing that what goes around comes around and many within the party, par­tic­u­larly the black lead­ers will learn this the hard way.

The de­ci­sion was rushed and not prop­erly thought out. Apart from los­ing sup­port, the loom­ing court case will also ex­pose how the party de­cides to se­lec­tively im­ple­ment its rules and con­sti­tu­tion. Its go­ing to de­v­ide the party on the ba­sis of colour. Its go­ing to high­light the dis­crep­an­cies that are as­so­ci­ated with party rules and pro­ce­dures. What­ever hap­pens with the case, the party has alien­ated black vot­ers.

What­ever hap­pens in the court rooms, the party will never be the same. It has clearly de­fined it­self as anti black and pro white in­ter­ests and agen­das.

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