Did the Democratic Alliance (DA) bite off more than it could chew when it decided to move to oust Patricia de Lille as mayor of Cape Town?
Reports suggest the DA made settlement approaches to De Lille ahead of instituting formal disciplinary proceedings against her.
Following her triumph at a no-confidence vote in the Cape Town City Council – which she won by one vote – De Lille has rejected overtures from the DA, which are said to have included an offer that she take up a seat in the National Assembly.
De Lille says she wants to fight to clear her name.
Given all the mud-slinging which has taken place in this saga – with De Lille being accused of everything from corruption to arrogance and her supporters claiming, in turn, that the DA wants her ousted in favour of a black African – the accusations need to be fully ventilated … and in public. There must be no hearings behind closed doors.
Only once that process has been completed will we know the truth about De Lille.
The other, inescapable, truth is that this fight has badly damaged the image of the DA. And that will be difficult to repair.