Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has her back against the wall as she tries to clear her name at a DA disciplinary hearing.

De Lille is facing charges of bringing the DA into disrepute for her role in ructions in the City of Cape Town‚ which include allegations that she instructed that a report detailing alleged corruption be buried.

The DA’s upcoming congress has the potential to spell the end of her career as the city’s mayor, as it may pass a resolution that allows the party to recall its public representatives.

De Lille is on borrowed time in her job after her party instituted a motion of no confidence against her‚ which failed after opposition parties and rebel councillors voted against it.

Political analysts Somadoda Fikeni and Susan Booysen believe that De Lille’s time with the DA may have come to an end‚ even if she is not found guilty by the disciplinary hearing‚ which started on Tuesday.

"I do think that there is a distinct feeling that Patricia de Lille’s time with the DA is almost over‚ because if you are disavowed by the leadership‚ by your provincial colleagues‚ there can be no clearer signal that it’s time up‚" Fikeni said.

He said the only question was around the nature of the departure.

"[There could be] a rupture‚ which will be harmful for the DA‚ a rupture which will be harmful for [De Lille] and probably impact on [Mmusi] Maimane‚ because this becomes a serious test of his leadership‚" Fikeni said.

He said things were currently clumsy around the matter because the line between the allegations being made against De Lille and the political expression of no confidence came to be mixed up.

"It creates an impression that she needs to go no matter what and any trial now is merely going through the motions‚" he added.

Booysen said "too much bad blood has passed" in De Lille’s relationship with her party and if anything positive emerged‚ it would take a long time to reverse the damage.

"It would take a huge amount of work and a considerable amount of time to reconstruct that … I would not imagine that she would want to stay in the DA after this‚" said Booysen.

"I really can’t imagine how she and the DA can continue co-existing in one party‚ in whatever way this is resolved."

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