The ANC says it is not enticing embattled politician Patricia de Lille to walk away from the DA, but she is welcome to join the ANC.

This is according to the head of the ANC presidency‚ Zizi Kodwa‚ as well as the party’s co-ordinator of its provincial elections campaign, former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Kodwa and Rasool also said they wanted national government to place Cape Town under administration‚ citing a governance and leadership collapse.

Kodwa was among the ANC leaders who addressed a press conference on Wednesday morning‚ following the DA’s decision to fire De Lille as a DA member and, by extension‚ as Cape Town’s mayor.

Responding to questions about speculation that De Lille had been holding secret talks with the ANC following a breakdown in her relationship with the DA‚ Kodwa said there had been no discussion between the ANC and the beleaguered politician, but she was free to cross over to the ANC.

"The ANC does not entice; people join the ANC voluntarily because of the supremacy of its ideas and policies‚" said Kodwa.

"We won’t entice anybody but of course she’s an adult‚ she’s got a right to join and make a choice politically whether she wants to join the ANC on the basis that … ideologically and politically she can associate herself with the ANC.

"But we haven’t as the ANC met and discussed with her that she must come to the ANC; she will make that decision voluntarily. If in the business of the pursuit of the objectives of the ANC she thinks that she has a role to play‚ of course everybody is welcome to join the ANC."

Rasool said as far as the ANC was concerned‚ De Lille remained the mayor of Cape Town because the city council had not elected a new mayor, while the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) had not yet declared her seat vacant.

"They want to find a route to get rid of De Lille without referring it to council and key to that is the secret ballot. So it’s not that we want to elect a new mayor‚ because there’s a mayor in place. As far as we’re concerned De Lille is the mayor of Cape Town until the IEC declares otherwise.

Rasool said that to oust an incumbent mayor, a secret ballot should be held on a motion of no confidence.

The Western Cape ANC said it would petition the national government to place the city of Cape Town under administration‚ arguing it was in a state of governance and leadership crisis, and had failed to spend the more than R1.2bn set aside for crucial infrastructure projects.

The ANC leader in the Cape Town council‚ Xolani Sotashe‚ said the ANC would also press criminal charges against DA leader Mmusi Maimane for being in possession of confidential documents of the council while he was not a member.

Sotashe said Maimane’s direct involvement in the council’s affairs was also evidence of a governance crisis warranting a takeover by national government.