De Lille could have made a courtesy call, says DA
The DA says it will not take any action against its Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille, for addressing a memorial service for struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
De Lille on Wednesday attended a memorial service organised by the EFF in the Free State town of Brandfort, where Madikizela-Mandela was banished by the apartheid government for eight years.
DA national spokeswoman Refiloe Nt’sekhe said the party had not been aware that De Lille would be at the memorial service and she could have made a "courtesy call" to inform it of her attendance.
"Ms De Lille’s attendance at the memorial yesterday is a matter between her and the EFF leadership and not the DA," she said on Thursday. "A courtesy call to alert the DA would have been welcomed."
Nt’sekhe said the DA had received an invitation from the EFF to attend the service and had sent its Free State provincial leader, Patricia Kopane.
The Cape Town mayor is at loggerheads with the DA and is facing a disciplinary hearing on other matters.
De Lille’s office said on Thursday she had attended the service in her personal capacity as a "former special colleague" of the struggle veteran, who died on Monday last week.
The two women had worked together in Parliament and on a number of projects, her spokeswoman, Zara Nicholson, said.
"She went there to honour a friend, someone she regarded as a sister. She had great respect for Mama Winnie.
"She is a former special colleague of Mama Winnie and it is in that capacity that she went to pay tribute to her, and she is not going to allow the fact that she attended the event to become a side issue to that."
At the service, De Lille spoke fondly of Madikizela-Mandela and about her strength and contribution to the struggle.
She told how Madikizela-Mandela had called her in December after the DA announced disciplinary measures against her.
"She said, ‘what are those boys doing to you? They don’t know who they are dealing with’ and she laughed and laughed. "I assured her ‘Mama Winnie, I have it under control, but thank you for your support’," De Lille said at the memorial.