De Lille hits back at DA over attacks on her leadership of DPWI

Former Democratic Alliance (DA) member Patricia de Lille said that the last black member of the party should turn the lights off on their way out after the DA launched a scathing attack on her leadership of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

FILE: Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Former Democratic Alliance (DA) member Patricia de Lille said that the last black member of the party should turn the lights off on their way out.

The Public Works and Infrastructure minister made the jibe after the DA launched a scathing attack on her leadership of the department.

This followed De Lille's budget vote on Tuesday, during which she detailed her department's achievements and plans.

The DA and De Lille's differences have again played out again in Parliament as the minister delivered her department's budget.

The leader of the Good party is a former DA leader of the Western Cape and Cape Town mayor. She started a new party and earned a position in President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet after a bitter divorce from the DA.

On Tuesday, that party called her department rudderless and MP Madeleine Hicklin rejected her budget, accusing her of poor leadership.

“The DPWI cannot fulfill its mandate of aggressive infrastructure investment. This is not the norm. This is a disaster, a disaster led by a department corrupted by deficient leadership and an ANC leadership,” she said.

De Lille hit back by highlighting the perceived purging of the DA's black members.

“I want to say to honorable Hicklin, that you can just look at your own party's class and leadership deficit and ask the last black person to leave to switch off the lights. That will be my advice to her,” De Lille replied.

The exchange comes days after MP Phumzile van Damme joined a long list of black DA members to either resign from their positions or the party.

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