South Africa

South Africa

ANC’s Mbalula lavishes praise on Patricia de Lille

ANC officials Faiez Jacobs, Khaya Magaxa, Fikile Mbalula and Ebrahim Rasool address the media in Cape Town on Monday 23 April, 2018. Photo: Suné Payne

Remarks made by ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula at a press conference in Cape Town on Monday will fuel speculation that current Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s next move might be to the ANC. Terming De Lille “a beautiful person”, Mbalula said that the possibility of a new partnership between the beleaguered mayor and the ANC could not be ruled out.

Never say never,” was ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula’s response to the question of whether the DA’s Patricia de Lille might be headed in the ANC’s direction.

Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town on Monday, Mbalula indicated that the ANC would welcome De Lille’s political experience.

She is very powerful,” Mbalula said, describing De Lille as a politician of “integrity” who had achieved the recognition of a “household name”.

The former sports minister said that he believed that the DA would come to regret discarding De Lille.

Patricia de Lille has given us a tough time in the Metro, she has doubled (voting) numbers for the DA… why would I reject such a beautiful person?” he asked. Mbalula proceeded to compliment De Lille as a “hard worker” and someone who had succeeded in winning the trust of the people of the Western Cape.

The purpose of Mbalula’s media appearance was to announce the ANC’s new head of election strategy in the Western Cape, who he revealed to be former Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Rasool said that he agreed with Mbalula on the topic of De Lille.

You cannot have an entire council micro-managed to implement a decision of the DA congress,” said Rasool, in reference to the DA’s attempts to oust De Lille from her position as mayor via the Cape metro council and, more recently, the DA caucus in the council.

Only council must have the ability to remove her.”

Mbalula also derisively referred to the recent DA congress as an occasion set up specifically to engineer the removal of De Lille. He said that DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s interference in events in the Cape metro amounted to Maimane running the province “like a stokvel”.

The City of Cape Town DA caucus is expected to hold a vote of no confidence in Patricia de Lille later this week, following the granting of permission to do so by the DA’s federal executive. DM

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