De Lille to continue as Cape Town mayor

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo)

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo)

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has received her wish to see out her full five-year term, despite rumours that she may be redeployed as premier to the Northern Cape by the Democratic Alliance (DA) after the 2014 national elections.

But on Monday De Lille told the Mail & Guardian she never applied to be considered for the lists, which entails a position in provincial or national legislature.

Accordingly De Lille didn’t appear anywhere on lists revealed by the DA on Saturday.

"She wanted to remain mayor of Cape Town, which she is enjoying … no political conspiracy," one DA parliamentarian told the M&G. Two other DA insiders confirmed the reason for De Lille’s exclusion from the lists.

"The mayor has been on record on numerous occasions saying she wants to fulfil her mandate as mayor of Cape Town," her spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, said. "She didn’t apply to be on the list."

The former leader and founder of the Independent Democrats had repeatedly expressed her wish to remain as mayor of Cape Town until 2016 local government elections.

'Not enough'
In an interview with the Cape Argus last year, De Lille said she had already done a stint in provincial government and that five years as mayor of Cape Town was not enough.

The DA is expecting a win in the Northern Cape, where it has been growing in strength, and persistent rumours put De Lille as a potential leader.   

But the DA’s lists had current DA leader in the Northern Cape Andrew Louw as the premier candidate in the province. The Kimberley native and former marketing manager for Transnet has a history of service in the province and has worked his way up as a councillor in Kimberley. 

De Lille formed the Independent Democrats (ID) in 2003 during a floor-crossing period where she left the Pan Africanist Congress to campaign on a strongly anti-corruption ticket. She was one of the chief voices to speak out against the so-called arms deal.

Her party fared poorly in the 2009 elections and she began a process in 2010 to merge with the bigger DA. The ID will cease to exist when voters go to the polls this year.

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay is the editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian. She grew up in Laudium, Pretoria, learned her trade at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, spent a spell in Cape Town as an online journalist, and now loves living in Jozi. Her interests are broad but include a focus on politics and multi-platform storytelling. Read more from Verashni Pillay


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