Yellow and goodbye: De Lille quits as mayor, but where to now?

Carefully crafted peace treaty ends a 13-month DA civil war. Here are the questions that still need to be answered

06 August 2018 - 07:00 By Dave Chambers

Patricia de Lille resigned as Cape Town mayor after months of infighting in the Democratic Alliance between certain party members.

Sunday morning was wet but Patricia de Lille was wearing yellow, and it turned out to be a bright, sunshiney day for the DA.

After 13 months of accusations, denials, investigations, hearings, court cases, votes of no-confidence and disciplinary hearings, both sides laid down their political weapons and said they’d had enough.

Sitting alongside each other for the first time in months, De Lille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they had struck a peace deal, which means the mayor’s disciplinary hearing will not go ahead this month and she will vacate the mayor’s office on October 31.

Maimane apologised for “a difficult chapter in our history”; De Lille did not. She said she had “cleared her name”; Maimane did not. Maimane said De Lille had led the City of Cape Town since 2011 with distinction “for the most part”; De Lille said she had “grown a lot, learned a lot”.

But whatever the remaining points of difference between them, this was clearly the end of a messy sideshow that did neither side any credit and which threatened to drag on too far into the election campaign.

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