Outgoing Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille has made it clear that her leaving office was not part of an arrangement with the Democratic Alliance.
The almost-year-long standoff between de Lille and the DA came to an end when she announced on Sunday that she would be stepping down as mayor on October 31. Both de Lille and party leader Mmusi Maimane announced they would also be dropping all misconduct charges against her.
“I want to assure South Africans that I did not make a deal with the DA. I took the personal decision to resign because I could no longer take the consistent abuse. It was [a] very difficult decision and I trust that everyone will understand”, de Lille said on Twitter.
De Lille has been embroiled in a string of legal battles with the DA after allegations of misconduct surfaced against her last year. In June, the high court set aside the DA’s decision to withdraw her membership of the party, after she declared in a radio interview that she would resign after clearing her name. De Lille had asked the courts to reinstate her as mayor, pending the outcome of an application to test the constitutionality behind the DA’s new rule. At its elective conference in April, the party amended its constitution to allow for a recall or accountability clause, which they would then use to try and oust her.
“This has been a long and difficult journey. This matter has already gone on for too long, and has sapped the energies and attentions of both parties from our core work, for which we apologise. We were both desirous of finding a mutually agreeable resolution, and we have now done so. I am confident that this outcome is in the best interests of the people of Cape Town”, Maimane said.
The DA leader also said that they would begin the process of electing de Lille’s successor with immediate effect.