IN FULL | Why I'm walking away‚ by Patricia de Lille

31 October 2018 - 15:33 By Timeslive
During the clean up session former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille finds a pair of boxing gloves she used during her tenure as mayor.
During the clean up session former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille finds a pair of boxing gloves she used during her tenure as mayor.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

The statement issued by Patricia de Lille on Wednesday October 31 as she stepped down as mayor of Cape Town and resigned from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA already charged me in July this year for the Bowmans report which only surfaced last week. It is very clear that the DA does not respect the separation of party and state. There are many other charges arising out of council-related matters‚ they have been charging me for.

I also have evidence to suggest that Bowmans were colluding with politicians and eating ratepayers’ money in the process. Over and above the R5-million that they have been paid‚ just this month the city manager approved by deviation an additional R800‚000. I am determined as ever to clear my name as I have done with all other bogus charges and allegations that have been made against me since September last year.

I have now filed papers at the Western Cape High Court today asking the court to review the one Bowmans report that made findings against me. I have always said that I respect the independence of our judiciary‚ and our courts have confirmed their independence time and time again.

What I am challenging right now is how the same company‚ Bowmans‚ conducting the same investigation‚ on the same charge can come to two different conclusions.

When I agreed to resign‚ I made it clear it was in the interests of the people of Cape Town through that settlement. I only agreed to resign as mayor after the DA abandoned the Steenhuisen report due to lack of evidence and withdrew the charges against me. I was not prepared to resign with charges hanging over me.

Now that I have turned to the courts‚ I wish to inform the public that I will resign today and vacate the mayoral office at the end of the day today 31 October 2018 at 19:00.

Unlike some people in the DA who are prepared to stoop to all kinds of lows and lie and defame my good name‚ I am not married to a position. I have declined many other public representative positions offered to me by the DA over the past year as proof thereof. I am quite frankly relieved to be freed from an environment of extreme and hatred which serves no one.

At the same time‚ it also pains me to leave this position which I have devoted my life to for the past seven years and which has been the most enlightening and enriching experience of my life - serving the residents of the beautiful city of Cape Town. My greatest disappointment in this entire saga is not just about the recent incidents regarding my efforts to clear my name.

What is even more disappointing is the project and plan that Helen [Zille] and I started in 2010 when I led the ID to join forces with the DA to build a stronger and more united alternative to the ANC.

If we had succeeded and showed South Africa that it is possible for opposition parties to work together towards a common goal‚ then more opposition parties would have rallied behind this project.

However‚ my resignation today sadly marks the end of that project.

I want to thank each and every resident for working with me during my time in office. I have met so many wonderful people who work tirelessly to bring progress to their communities. I also thank the residents for the faith they placed in me and for the thousands of messages of support over the past 13 months.

These messages have been a great source of strength and I am eternally grateful for the people who have stood by me.

I leave with no regrets‚ and I can hold my head high‚ knowing that I worked day and night to serve the people of Cape Town. I also thank all the staff in the city for all their hard work over the years.

Without them‚ Cape Town would not be the best run city in the country or received more than 90 international accolades over the past seven years. My sincere gratitude also goes to all the staff in my office for your unwavering dedication and hard work. I have been blessed to work with some of the most energetic‚ dynamic and committed professionals.

I will be consulting my family in the coming weeks on what I will do next but as I have said before‚ I can serve my country in any capacity and I am still committed to serving the people of our country and ensuring that more people taste the fruits of our democracy.