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'De Lille, DA divorce could damage party support ahead of elections'

Patricia de Lille resigned on Wednesday, saying she can’t stand to be in an abusive relationship with the DA anymore.

FILE: Patricia de Lille. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The spat between Patricia de Lille and the Democratic Alliance (DA) may be over after her resignation from the party but political analysts say she’s leaving the organisation bruised and it may struggle to recover before next year’s elections.

De Lille resigned on Wednesday, saying she can’t stand to be in an abusive relationship with the DA anymore.

There is no question that De Lille leaves the DA with a bloody nose. But how bad is it?

Political Analyst Daniel Silk says: “There has been a substantial amount of brand damage done to the DA. The DA undermined the coalition of the parties.”

He says the fact that seven councillors resigned in solidarity with De Lille must worry the party.

“The disgruntlement can result in some sort of a breakaway movement.”

He says given De Lille’s maverick style of politics, she could revive the Independent Democrats which can eat from the DA votes in next year’s elections.

WATCH: Patricia de Lille resigns as Cape Town mayor

LEGAL DISPUTE

Law firm Bowmans is not responding to Patricia de Lille's claims of collusion and political manipulation.

While announcing her resignation from the mayor's office and the DA, De Lille accused the firm of colluding with city officials.

Bowmans compiled two forensic reports, which the former mayor is challenging in the Western Cape High Court.

The city council has adopted the reports and acted on a recommendation to open a criminal complaint against De Lille.

De Lille said she has evidence of collusion between Bowmans and city officials.

“Bowmans was colluding with politicians. As you know by now, the city has paid more than R5 million to Bowmans.”

Eyewitness News has contacted Bowmans for a response to De Lille's claims, but the law firm says it will not comment on client matters.

The City of Cape Town said it cannot confirm De Lille's figures and that the final amount to be paid to Bowmans cannot yet be confirmed as aspects of the investigation are still to be completed.

It has, however, confirmed just more than R822,000 was allocated to the project on top of an initial quote coming in at just under R3.15 million.

The city said it was a council-authorised investigation and not the city manager's.

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