Even if some DA members succeed in getting rid of Cape Town mayor and struggle stalwart Patricia de Lille, they would never succeed in destroying her integrity as a leader because she is determined to fight for it to the bitter end, a political analyst has said.
Unisa’s Dumisani Hlophe says De Lille herself may want to leave the DA but she will fight to ensure that her integrity remains intact.
The analyst believes the politician, who has a pan-Africanist and struggle background, does not fit into the DA mould as a leader.
The tension between De Lille and the party appeared to worsen after the DA congress at the weekend passed a resolution that would enable it to recall any of its public representatives.
But De Lille said the clause was actually aimed at getting rid of her.
Although the re-elected party federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, gave the assurance that the recall clause would not apply to cases already under way, he said nothing could stop a new no-confidence motion from being brought against De Lille.
This was interpreted as a party plan to remove her through another no-confidence motion in future if the current disciplinary action against her failed.
Already, the party indicated it could add a charge of bringing the party into disrepute against her for her latest tweets.
This followed a series of tweets on Sunday in which De Lille blamed certain people in the party for clamouring for her head.
“Changing their own federal constitution through the newly passed ‘De Lille Clause’ shows just how far they are willing to go to avoid their own due process,” she tweeted.
De Lille vowed to ensure that her hearing was transparent and open to the media.
“I have been fighting for a fair and transparent process amid the slew of allegations that have been thrown my way. The DA should be aware that, even if they refuse to follow due process in the spirit of fairness, the laws of our country protect public representatives,” she wrote.
Hlophe said: “I don’t think that Patricia de Lille has a DA DNA, she has never been a liberal. She has never been a DA person, but she does not want to leave the DA the way the party wants her to.”
As a leader with unquestionable integrity, she has nothing to prove but to protect the integrity that she built over many years, he said.
Hlophe blamed this state of affairs on the weak leadership of DA leader Mmusi Maimane whose authority the analyst questioned.
“I think it’s not De Lille who is being put on trial here, but Mmusi Maimane. Why would someone with such impeccable credentials get treated this way on his watch; what does Maimane say, what is his stance as a leader on this issue?” Hlophe said.
“The question arises as to who has power in the DA; where does power lie in the party? The whole issue casts serious aspersions on the authority of Maimane as a leader.”