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

A protest by the DA outside the High Court in Cape Town on Friday seemed to be confused about its role in the battle going on inside between the party and its ousted mayor‚ Patricia de Lille.

The leader of the protest‚ Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela‚ said it was "for the city and service delivery". In fact‚ he said‚ it was not even a protest.

When two taxis full of ANC members arrived‚ some DA members greeted them with jubilation. But they, and a group of disgruntled Cape Town, residents were protesting against De Lille’s removal.

Some of group of unhappy residents, describing themselves as long-standing DA members‚ said De Lille was providing for them as poor and nonwhite residents.

ANC member Mandla Moyake said De Lille was responsible for rolling out electricity to his informal settlement. Now that she was gone‚ he said he feared the project would disappear.

The crowd of pro-De Lille supporters seemed much more resolute and soon swelled to far outnumber the DA supporters.

Madikizela criticised claims that protesters were paid to join in. "It’s not a protest‚ this is a show of support for the party from the members of the DA who thought it was important for them to come here to support the party‚" he said.

"Secondly‚ I want to emphasise that we are putting Cape Town first because we cannot be held to ransom at the expense of service delivery.

"It’s so unfortunate that we are even here this morning because when you join a particular organisation, you subject yourself to the rules and the constitution of that organisation. If you violate those rules, that organisation must take action against you," Madikizela said.

He said the DA had been "bleeding" as a result of its fight with De Lille. "Any leader who denies that‚ that person would be a denialist. That is why it’s important for us to deal with this matter as soon as possible and get back to what we were elected for‚" he said.

"We were elected to deliver services‚ we need to put our citizens first."