Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has announced the resignation of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille effective October 31 after an agreement was reached.
“Mayor Patricia de Lille has agreed to resign as mayor of Cape Town effective October 31,” Maimane said on Sunday.
De Lille was meant to face a disciplinary hearing this week after the party agreed to make its disciplinary processes open to the media in July. But, in a surprise move, De Lille agreed to tender her resignation, and the party agreed to withdraw its charges against her.
Maimane said that the party withdrew its charges because De Lille is still facing disciplinary action in council and court litigation.
De Lille, meanwhile, told journalists that the end of the battle would leave her more time to focus on her career in public service, where she seeks to address the “‘massive inequality” in South Africa.
#DeLille: I am deeply committed to serving the people of my country. I want to thank my leader Mmusi Maimane and the DA that I got the opportunity to serve as mayor
— raeesa pather (@raediology) August 5, 2018
“I’m very pleased to announce today that I reached an agreement with the DA because I always maintained that I’m innocent and the allegations against me have never been proven,” De Lille said.
Her final three month period as mayor will deal with implementing the budget, she said, and paving the way for a smooth handover for the interim mayor and eventual new mayor.
Her next three months in office, she said, will also be focused on addressing land occupations in the city to clamp down on the high number of land protests that have spread through Cape Town this year.
“I’ll be spending a lot of time trying to find resolutions to that,” she said.
While De Lille will resign as mayor effective in October, she has said she will remain a member of the party.
Court appeal still to continue
While the party has withdrawn its disciplinary process against De Lille, it is set to continue its application for leave to appeal a high court judgement.
In June, the high court effectively reinstated De Lille’s membership after it found that the DA had failed to follow due process when it ousted her.
When asked on Sunday if the appeal would be withdrawn, Maimane said it would continue.
“The appeal process is still going ahead,” he said.
If the DA is successful in its appeal, De Lille may once again find her membership terminated.
De Lille has served as Cape Town Mayor since 2011 when she began her first term in office. In 2016, she cruised to victory once again, with her party winning a two-thirds majority in the Cape Town metro during the local government elections.