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18 Apr 2015 18:59
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille accepts the nomination as new leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape on Saturday. (David Harrison, M&G)
To the strains of Tina Turner’s Simply the Best, balloons, confetti and champagne, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille was announced as the new
leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape on Saturday.
De Lille was elected as the new leader at the party’s provincial congress with
69% of the votes, beating lone contender Lennit Max, the former Western
Cape police commissioner.
She immediately threw her weight behind candidate DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
The former Independent Democrats leader’s victory surprised few, as more
than half of the 1 000 delegates seemed to be firmly in her corner, some
wearing her campaign T-shirts, while others chanted her name in the build-up to
De Lille paid tribute to outgoing leader Ivan Meyer and Helen Zille in her
acceptance speech, and said she was humbled by the confidence shown in her by
She said the Western Cape was the heartland of the DA and it was going to
stay that way.
“Over the next couple of months, we need to develop a strategy on how to
make this blue machine unstoppable, so that we can govern all 30 municipalities
We need to start in those municipalities where the African National
Congress is currently governing; then we go to the municipalities where we are
governing in coalition, because we don’t want to waste out time on coalitions
De Lille said now that the election was over, they would not stop until the
DA reigned supreme in the Western Cape.
“We cannot rest until every single municipality in this province is under
the control and the government of the DA. And I believe the strength we have in
the unstoppable blue machine will be able to do that. I hope I can count on
the support of all structures as we continue to build this party and the
She said she had known in her gut that she would be successful after receiving
messages of support from delegates throughout the day.
De Lille threw her weight behind Maimane after provincial chairperson Anton
Bredell asked the new leadership to indicate, by show of hands, if they would
support the parliamentary leader.
An excited Bonginkosi Madikizela, who campaigned alongside De Lille, won the
post of deputy provincial leader, beating Theuns Botha.
Wearing a white linen suit, with a blue fedora-style hat and blue suede
shoes, Madikizela started his victory dance before the announcements and
once he was named as deputy, his followers carried him up the stage to take his
seat among the new leadership.
Madikizela said that unlike De Lille, he had been unsure if he would win,
and had just tried to remain positive throughout the day.
Former provincial leader Meyer, after a 25 minute speech in which he
described his dreams for the future of the party, announced he would be running
for the post of federal deputy chairperson in the elective congress in May. He
said Zille had created a good story and the time had now come to create a great
story in 2019.
Read more from Thulani Gqirana
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