'Anything is possible' smirks ANC as it opens the door to Patricia de Lille

01 February 2018 - 06:00 By Aron Hyman
The ANC in the Western Cape said it was open to the possibility of Patricia de Lille joining its ranks. File picture.
The ANC in the Western Cape said it was open to the possibility of Patricia de Lille joining its ranks. File picture.
Image: Esa Alexander

Will the ANC woo Patricia de Lille after the DA casts her aside? It might seem a big leap from a DA mayorship to joining arch-rival the ANC‚ but it is not an entirely far-fetched scenario.

The speculation over De Lille’s future political home follows another lucky escape for the beleaguered Cape Town mayor on Wednesday after the ANC withdrew its seemingly ceremonial motion of no confidence.

The Cape Town city council would almost certainly have voted her out of office – as was proven when Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela allowed the DA caucus to vote with the ANC just before the council met on Wednesday morning.

But while the DA is eager to vote out a mayor whose controversial leadership style has become a headache for the party‚ the ANC took notice of how De Lille snatched even its strongest pockets of support in the metro from underneath its feet during the 2016 local government election.

Anything is possible. There is no dustbin for a human being.
ANC Western Cape leader Xolani Sotashe

“Yes, she is corrupt‚ but she can be rehabilitated (and the quicker she leaves the DA by her own accord the better)‚” is the golden thread that has flowed through the ANC’s media statements since news broke of allegations of tender irregularities in some of the city’s biggest projects and De Lille’s complacency in dealing with it.

ANC leader in the Western Cape Xolani Sotashe told TimesLIVE that De Lille was “corrupt” but that the party would still accept her into its ranks.

“As the ANC‚ there is no one that we say we can’t accept in our ranks. If she wants to come‚ if she’s got an interest in the ANC‚ we will engage. Anything is possible. There is no dustbin for a human being. People can be rehabilitated‚” he said.

Although De Lille played a major role in the DA’s victories in Cape Town and the Western Cape‚ Sotashe was not entirely convinced she could guarantee the ANC the same result.

“We could say yes if it was 2016‚ we saw what she was doing across the city. But now‚ she’s being terrorised by the leadership of the DA‚ the fedex [federal executive]‚” he said.

“We don’t see her constituency rising up and say, you can’t do this to our person. We are not sure about the support you are talking about. That support must be tested‚” he said.

Sotashe said De Lille also seemed to have lost the support of the majority of coloured people in the city because “people are gatvol of a person who is not trustworthy”.

“Even now‚ she’s not running to her support base‚ she’s going to the African base to ask for sympathy. The question is why she is not going to her base. She is having problems with her base‚” he said.

“It’s difficult to measure her support now but all we are saying‚ [despite] all those things‚ we can’t allow white liberals within the DA to terrorise black people in the DA and use them. When they are done with them, they dump them like used condoms‚” he added.

In two weeks’ time‚ the council will vote on another motion of no confidence‚ this time tabled by the DA. The ANC vote might not matter then‚ but fate might have it that De Lille could return as mayor in a few years' time‚ this time under the green‚ black and gold.

ANC Western Cape leader Xolani Sotashe said Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is only part of the problem in the City of Cape Town after the ANC withdrew it's motion of no confidence against her a...