De Lille to start new political party

Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille
Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille
Image: Esa Alexander

If former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille opens her mouth about corruption, she will be painting her new party with the same brush she used to smear her political opponents more than a decade ago.

This was political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni’s opinion following De Lille’s announcement in Cape Town on Sunday that she would start a new political party.

De Lille is challenging the outcomes of a probe conducted by law firm Bowmans Gilfillan, which conducted a 10-month investigation into the Cape Town transport authority, recommending that De Lille be reported to the police for allegedly attempting to prevent former city manager Achmat Ebrahim fulfilling his legal duty to tell the council about allegations of misconduct against transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead.

Council speaker Dirk Smit laid criminal complaints against De Lille and Brett Heron, a former councillor, in October.

On Friday, Cape Town councillors Xanthea Limberg and Angus McKenzie also laid criminal charges against De Lille. Limberg claims De Lille tried to interfere with Ebrahim’s appointment two years ago.

Limberg was a member of the interview panel and De Lille is alleged to have SMSed her: “I want to keep Achmat so score him highest. Thanks.”

Fikeni said that each time De Lille spoke on corruption, the DA would say: “Wait, we still have a case against you.”

De Lille was very vocal about corruption over the infamous arms deal when she was the leader of the Independent Democrats and as an MP.

Fikeni said her yet-to-belaunched political party brought nothing new to the table, but might have bargaining power by getting into coalitions.

De Lille said on Sunday the bad blood between her and the DA was motivated by malice and hate – but DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela described De Lille’s accusation as “nothing new”.

“I must take the opportunity and wish De Lille well in the new journey that she’s embarking on. We had our differences, but that’s all in the past.” – TimesLIVE