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De Lille faces deadline to provide reasons to keep job as CT mayor

Patricia de Lille is also facing governance issues in the city council and a backlash from residents over unpopular decisions related to the water crisis.

FILE: Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Mayor Patricia de Lille is going into her seventh year as Cape Town mayor with a sword hanging over her head.

She has until the fifth of January to give the Democratic Alliance (DA) reasons why the party should keep her on as the mayor of its flagship municipality, after an internal investigation flagged issues of maladministration in the city.

But besides party political problems, De Lille is also facing governance issues in the city council and a backlash from residents over unpopular decisions related to the water crisis.

Once the DA's poster girls, relations between Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Patricia de Lille have soured over time.

In her second term as mayor, De Lille has also increasingly alienated members of her caucus with her seemingly brash manner.

Although the party's top leaders in the province, Zille and De Lille both find themselves on the party periphery.

Zille was also suspended from gatherings last year, after a controversial tweet.

Public leadership expert Erwin Schwella says the DA's long cultivated image of unified in diversity, is rapidly unravelling.

"There's a serious political battle brewing here. In politics, the opposition sits across from you, but your real enemies sit behind your back and that's what is happening here."

De Lille has been under investigation by a city law firm appointed by the council to probe allegations of corruption leveled against her by a top aid in her office.

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