De Lille’s days as mayor seem to be numbered, after the DA caucus tabled a motion of no confidence in her leadership on January 31, following a raft of corruption allegations.
Lindiwe Mazibuko – who left her party post under acrimonious circumstances in 2014 to study in the US – came to De Lille’s defence on a Twitter thread started by former African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza.
Khoza initially tweeted on Sunday: “Its clear to me that the DA is [anti-women] of colour.
“One thing the DA has failed to do is to convince [South Africans] that they are a non-racial party and now with what is happening to @PatriciaDeLille they are showing [South Africans] that they are [anti-women] of colour. Remember @LindiMazibuko.”
A Stefan Maree then replied: “You clearly [don’t] know the reasons behind De Lilles eviction. First talk to her colleagues and city staff before you choose her side.
“What you see is not what you get with her. Unfortunately her colleagues and city staff may not talk out… she was power drunk.”
‘Dog whistle politics’
Mazikbuko then responded to Maree on Monday, saying: “I am sick of people describing @PatriciaDeLille as “power drunk” as if this empty accusation can be legitimized by repetition.
“A black woman’s ambition is not a crime. A black woman exercising power in elected office is not an aberration. We see you & your dog whistle politics.”
De Lille herself slammed the DA for its “desperate attempts” to get rid of her as “quickly as possible”.
The DA laid a criminal charge against De Lille on Sunday, after a Gauteng businessman claimed the mayor had tried to solicit a R5m bribe from him in 2012.
De Lille said the party was using unfounded allegations to remove her, and questioned why a six-year-old claim was only surfacing now.
Last Wednesday, she claimed that the accusations against her have not been fairly tested, and the investigation into her conduct has not been concluded.
Party members, however, had continued to further the narrative against her as if it were fact, she said.
“All I have repeatedly asked for was to be treated fairly and now that I have been charged the process must take its course.
“Yet it seems that every other day, there is another manoeuvre to undermine these processes and get rid of me before testing the allegations against me and giving me a fair chance to respond to those allegations.”
The motion against De Lille will be debated in the city council on February 15. DM
"Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely comrades." ~ George Orwell