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DA in CT promises to prioritise citizens’ concerns

This follows its protracted and damaging dispute with Patricia de Lille, which has dominated City of Cape Town politics over the past 18 months.

FILE: Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Cape Town has promised to put the concerns of its citizens at the centre stage.

This follows its protracted and damaging dispute with Patricia de Lille, which has dominated City of Cape Town politics over the past 18 months.

The DA, which runs the city, has on several occasions stressed that its fight with the former mayor was never a personal one.

The party has declared its faith in Dan Plato, whom, ahead of being sworn in as the City of Cape Town mayor, vowed to reunite the DA’s city caucus following the debilitating battle with De Lille.

WATCH: Patricia de Lille resigns as Cape Town mayor

National DA leaders began to intervene more than a year ago when tensions between then-mayor De Lille and her colleagues intensified.

In a bid to quell the conflict both De Lille and her apparent internal nemesis, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith, were put on special leave from party activities in the city.

There were also reports of a breakdown in relations in the caucus.

A report compiled by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen concluded De Lille had a divisive and autocratic leadership style, which made it difficult for councillors to carry out their duties.

One matter the leadership found fault with was the way the city had handled the drought crisis under De Lille’s Leadership.

Party leader Mmusi Maimane effectively took control away from his colleagues in the city earlier in 2018 when he announced that a drought crisis task team would manage the severe water shortage.

“I have not been fully satisfied with how the City of Cape Town has responded to this particular drought crisis and its communication, in particular, has in some instances fallen short and this lack of clarity is not what citizens should expect from DA governments,” Maimane said.

WATCH: Day Zero might not happen in 2018 - Mmusi Maimane

Even though the party has now abandoned the findings contained in the Steenhuisen report, Mayco member Xanthea Limberg in November laid criminal charges against De Lille for allegedly interfering with the appointment of former city manager Achmat Ebrahim while she was still mayor in 2016.

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone says the dispute was always about how best to address the needs of Capetonians: “We take it upon ourselves to be very strict with our own members. The issue between Patricia de Lille and the Democratic Alliance was never a personal issue. It got turned into somewhat of a personal issue not through any doings of ours.”

With the announcement of her new party Good, De Lille has vowed she’s now put her DA past behind her and is ready to move on.

LISTEN: Right and wrong: The DA’s year in a nutshell

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)