Maimane be­trayed me – De Lille

The for­mer Cape Town mayor says the DA has in­flicted dam­age on it­self by tar­get­ing her

Mail & Guardian - - News - Di­neo Bendile

Axed Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia De Lille has ac­cused Demo­cratic Al­liance leader Mmusi Maimane of lead­ing the fight to oust her as head of the city and as a party mem­ber.

She said in an in­ter­view this week that Maimane had failed to en­sure that she was treated fairly dur­ing her pro­tracted bat­tle with the party. It had be­come clear that he was among those lead­ing the push to drive her from the party, ac­cord­ing to the for­mer mayor.

“We have drifted apart because it was clear that the leader [Maimane] was lead­ing the fight against me, which I also feel was wrong for a leader. Because a leader should be part of the so­lu­tion, not part of the prob­lem.”

She ac­cused him of stand­ing by and watch­ing what she be­lieved was a “des­per­ate” plot waged against her grad­u­ally un­fold­ing in the DA. She called his ac­tions “hurt­ful”.

“Where it hurts, and it surely does hurt … is that he failed me in mak­ing sure that due process and the con­sti­tu­tion of the party is ap­plied to me in a fair man­ner,” De Lille said.

She has ap­proached the high court in Cape Town to sus­pend the party’s de­ci­sion to re­scind her mem­ber­ship and she will learn the out­come of this on Fri­day.

De Lille was stripped of her mem­ber­ship of the party on Tues­day because of an in­ter­view she had two weeks ear­lier, in which she had said she would leave the DA if she cleared her name of the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against her.

De Lille is chal­leng­ing the party’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the con­sti­tu­tional clause used to axe her. She also wants to know why she is be­ing blamed for the DA’s rep­u­ta­tional dam­age.

“Here is a per­fect ex­am­ple of cut­ting [off] your nose to spite your face,” she said, “because all the peo­ple who are at­tack­ing the DA-led gov­ern­ment in Cape Town are DA mem­bers.

“So DA mem­bers are pulling down their own gov­ern­ment just because they’re try­ing to get to me. And then they want to ac­cuse me of dam­ag­ing the party? “They are so blind; they don’t care about the DA gov­ern­ment. And it’s just be­come so fash­ion­able to blame Pa­tri­cia for ev­ery­thing.”

Although the pub­lic con­tin­ues to de­mand more trans­parency about the DA’s treat­ment of De Lille, there are fears that the matter will af­fect the party at the polls both in the Western Cape and na­tion­ally.

The party has ad­mit­ted that it fore­sees that the drawn-out bat­tle with De Lille will have an ef­fect on vot­ers.

De Lille said she was un­will­ing to back down for the sake of main­tain­ing peace and in sup­port of the DA’s elec­toral am­bi­tions.

“Never. Never. I have worked very hard to be­come a house­hold name in this coun­try,” she said. “It didn’t come just because peo­ple know who I am. And no money can buy your rep­u­ta­tion and in­tegrity. My name has be­come syn­ony­mous in this coun­try with fight­ing cor­rup­tion, so who the hell are you [the DA, to ac­cuse me of cor­rup­tion]?”

De Lille was the whis­tle-blower in the multi­bil­lion-rand arms ac­qui­si­tion project plagued by cor­rup­tion.

Maimane was not avail­able to com­ment.

Hap­pier times: Demo­cratic Al­liance leader Mmusi Maimane and Pa­tri­cia de Lille present a united front ahead of the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions. Their re­la­tion­ship has since soured. Photo: Simphiwe Nk­wali/Gallo Images

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