De Lille ‘to launch new party’
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.”