12/04/2018 10:57 SAST | Updated 12/04/2018 10:57 SAST

DA Demands De Lille Explain Her Attendance At EFF Event

The DA says it has no problem with Patricia de Lille attending an EFF memorial for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, but that she should have notified her party.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. March 15, 2017.
Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. March 15, 2017.

The DA insists that it has no issue with the party's embattled Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille, attending a memorial for struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela hosted by rival opposition party the EFF.

However, the party does want De Lille to explain why she did not notify it of her attendance.

Speaking to HuffPost on Thursday, a day after De Lille appeared on stage in Brandfort surrounded by the red banners of the EFF, DA national spokesperson Refiloe Nt'sekhe said the party was not aware that De Lille was speaking at the event.

"We only learnt about it in the media – this was irresponsible. [DA leader Mmusi Maimane] was also invited to speak at the event by the EFF, but due to prior commitments, he could not attend. Our provincial leader in Free State, Patricia Kopane, was also invited and attended the event," Nt'sekhe said.

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"We are asking that De Lille come forward and explain herself as to why she attended without notifying the party. De Lille had a good relationship with [Madikizela-Mandela], and this is respected. De Lille is well-suited to speak at the memorial."

Nt'sekhe said De Lille broke protocol by not informing the DA, even if she had attended in her personal capacity.

"The problem is not with De Lille attending; it is with her not following protocol. Even if she attended in her personal capacity, it was her duty to inform the party, and she would have known this."

The DA and the EFF have been at each other's throats since the DA chose, in compliance with its party constitution and policy, not to support the red berets' parliamentary motion seeking land expropriation without compensation. The EFF hit back with a motion of no confidence in the DA's Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor, Athol Trollip (a motion which has been suspended indefinitely at this point).