DA offered De Lille Parliament job to reach resolution

(David Harrison/M&G)

(David Harrison/M&G)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has admitted to offering Patricia de Lille a seat in Parliament if she stepped down as Cape Town mayor.

In recent months, De Lille claimed in court papers and in the media that the party had told her it would make her an MP if she vacated the mayor’s office. Reports of the offer began to emerge as early as January.

But with the party’s recent expulsion of De Lille from the DA, and therefore her position as mayor, her claim to Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser on Wednesday morning that she received the offer from DA leader Mmusi Maimane drew shock on social media.

“It’s the leader. The leader offered me a position in Parliament,” De Lille told McKaiser. “My membership was never an issue. You can’t be a member of Parliament and not be a member of the party.”

When the Mail & Guardian attempted to reach Maimane’s office, he was unavailable for comment, but DA federal executive deputy chairperson Natasha Mazzone told Radio 702 that Maimane had already admitted to the offer in public.

“[Maimane] has publicly said before that he had indeed tried to deal with this crisis by offering the MP position to Ms De Lille but that was before the allegations surfaced. She would not now be fit to be MP,” Mazzone said.

According to Mazzone, De Lille was offered the MP job last year as an amicable resolution to the battle that was ensuing in the Cape Town caucus and in the party over her mayorship.

The DA federal executive announced on Tuesday that it had ceased De Lille’s membership because it believes she had breached the party’s constitution during a radio interview in April when she had agreed to resign once she had cleared her name. The party contends De Lille admitted her intention to resign from the DA, while De Lille has argued she was talking about resigning as mayor.

The DA will host a press briefing on Wednesday night to explain the processes that led to De Lille’s membership being ceased. Maimane, meanwhile, has said he will meet with residents in Elsies River on Thursday to assure them that the government in Cape Town is stable and concerns they have lodged over service delivery and increased water rates will be addressed.

But in the meantime, there remains an impasse in the Cape Town leadership. Acting Mayor Ian Neilson claims De Lille is out of office, while De Lille’s legal team have said that because they have filed court papers to challenge the cessation of her membership an acting mayor can not yet be appointed.

De Lille’s case to have her membership re-established is set to be heard in the Western Cape high court on Friday. 

Ra'eesa Pather

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