THE BLOG
03/07/2018 11:24 SAST | Updated 03/07/2018 11:24 SAST

'Dear Mayor De Lille – Take Lessons From Zuma And Mahumapelo...'

'You cannot claim to serve the interests of Cape Town residents without the DA's blessing.'

Brenton Geach/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images

OPINION

Dear executive mayor Patricia de Lille,

First, let me come clean: I am neither a DA member nor DA supporter, nor a Cape Town resident. I am writing you this open letter as an ordinary South African citizen who is unhappy with your conduct in your multilayered case with the DA. The letter is, therefore, not based on the legal merits and demerits of the case.

Like many South Africans, I have been following the case with keen interest. In fact, I support your fight for a fair disciplinary hearing, which is an important democratic process. However, I do not support your call for the process to be made public, because the case is between you and the DA, not between you and the city of Cape Town. I therefore view the call as an attempt to portray yourself as a political victim to seek public sympathy, thus resorting to former ANC and South African president Jacob Zuma's victimhood politics.

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Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

I expect a great deal of political maturity from you, as a senior leader in our body politic. Instead, you have thus far shown a great deal of disrespect for the case, the DA and Natasha Mazzone, a DA federal council deputy chair. It started with your public engagements on the case, notwithstanding its merits or demerits. I know former DA and Western Cape premier Helen Zille did the same during her case on colonialism. However, I cannot use her as a benchmark of my expectation of political maturity from you.

You should resort to a sub judice principle or let your legal representative(s) do the public engagements and focus on your mayoral responsibilities. Instead, you play to the media gallery. It is for this reason that the DA ceased your membership, following your radio interview wherein you declared your intention to leave the party after clearing your name on corruption and other charges brought against you. Someone of your calibre should have known better.

Judging by your open letter to Mazzone, wherein you describe her "as the latest appointed scripted spokesperson tasked with smearing my name on the DA's behalf", you no longer consider yourself a DA member. Yet you want to hold on as DA executive mayor while more than 70 per cent of its caucus has lost confidence in you.

You cannot claim to serve the interests of Cape Town residents without the DA's blessing. You should learn from Zuma and his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, as well as former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, to name but a few who resigned when the ANC expressed its loss of confidence in them. They had — and perhaps still do have — reservations, of course, but resigned out of respect for their party.

I do believe that your time in politics is up. Please do not form or join another political party. Go and serve South Africa in a different capacity.

In contrast, you seem to prize your anti-corruption reputation above the DA and its members. You can still clear your name as an ordinary DA member, as the court has reinstated your membership. If you deem the process unfair, you can seek recourse in court.

I am really disturbed by the tone of your open letter to Mazzone and subsequent public statement. You might not respect Mazzone as an individual, but you should respect the position she holds within the party.

Gallo Images
DA's deputy chair of federal council Natasha Mazzone addresses the media after the judgment on Patricia de Lille's DA membership case at the Western Cape High Court on June 27 2018 in Cape Town.

She explained that owing to her intimate involvement in your case, the party has assigned her to undertake any public engagements in connection with it. Therefore, your attack on her is an attack on the DA.

I know that Mazzone can go ballistically on a tangent to a simple issue, but calling her "clueless" raises questions about your political maturity. One should commend her for her response to your open letter. As you went low, she went high, thus showing some degree of political maturity.

I do believe that your time in politics is up. Please do not form or join another political party. Go and serve South Africa in a different capacity, such as starting a women's leadership institute to advance and fight for women's rights, tackle femicide and teenage pregnancy, and so forth.

Someone of your leadership pedigree would not struggle to get funding for this noble course.

Sincerely,

Molifi Tshabalala, ordinary citizen