Surrounded by her supporters and journalists outside the Cape Town high court, controversial mayor Patricia De Lille announced her resignation — effective from 7pm on Wednesday, Oct 31 — with one last battle. She had just filed court papers to have the City of Cape Town’s decision to adopt a report from law firm Bowmans implicating her in criminal wrongdoing reviewed and set aside.
De Lille took this opportunity to take a swipe at the speaker of council, Dirk Smit. Smit had told journalists yesterday that he had received De Lille’s resignation letter, but the mayor accused him of lying because she had not yet written a letter to the speaker’s office. Her initial resignation letter — penned in August — was to Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane and not the city.
De Lille reflected on the past year, which has been fraught with tensions between her and the DA, saying, “This whole saga has been very disappointing.” “I have declined many public representative positions offered to me including being a minister, an MPL, [and] a member of parliament because my fight was for fairness and justice and never a position,” she said.
Standing at the steps of the high court, De Lille then read the resignation letter she will hand over to Smit. She thanked Capetonians for their support, as well as the administration and her staff. De Lille then made another announcement. “I am also resigning as a member of the Democratic Alliance,” she said.
Shouts of “viva” and “amandla” erupted from the gathered crowd as De Lille made clear her intentions to leave the party.
De Lille will now take two weeks leave and then consult with her family before she announces her future plans. She repeated, however, that is prepared to “serve my country in any capacity”.
According to De Lille, two other councillors have also resigned from the city council bringing the total number who have left in what appears to be support of De Lille and frustration with the DA, to seven. (Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg)