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DA drops all charges as De Lille walks away from mayorship

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has stopped short of apologising to Patricia De Lille but has acknowledged the achievements of the city under her leadership.

Patricia De Lille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane at a press briefing on 5 August 2018. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has done an about turn on disciplining Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille.

It’s dropped all misconduct charges against her in exchange for her stepping down as mayor.

Making the announcement on Sunday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said this agreement is an opportunity to close a difficult chapter in the party’s history.

Maimane says the De Lille matter has gone on for too long, sapping the energy and attention of both parties from focusing on core work.

This deal he says is in the best interest of Cape Town.

“What we will do as a party is ensure that we begin the process of electing a new mayor with immediate effect.”

Maimane has stopped short of apologising to De Lille but has acknowledged the achievements of the city under her leadership.

“And in that time, she has achieved great things; this is one of the best run city in the country and maintains its position in that regard.”

He says he’s pleased De Lille will remain a DA member.

At the same time, De Lille says she did not make a deal with the DA but rather took the personal decision to step down because she “could no longer take the consistent abuse”.

The embattled mayor took to Twitter shortly after the last-minute briefing with the party, saying “it was a very difficult decision and I trust that everyone will understand”.

‘ILLICIT ARRANGEMENT’

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has described the agreement between De Lille and the DA as an 'illicit arrangement'.

The party says the ousting of De Lille opens a backdoor for the city to elect a mayor which has not been voted for by the people of Cape Town.

The ANC has maintained its stance on the issue and says it will be keeping a close eye to see if there will be any subsequent changes to the city's budget.

City of Cape Town ANC Spokesperson Khaya Yozi said: “As the ANC, our view remain the same, we will still want to see the allegations of corruption on various against Mayor De Lille to be proved and tested in an open and credible process.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)