Cape Town - Patricia de Lille’s political future might not be so murky after all, if the ANC’s glowing endorsements are anything to go by. Adding fuel to the speculation is her hugging President Cyril Ramphosa, welcoming him to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival over the weekend.
The Western Cape ANC, bereft of a credible and strong leader to woo coloured voters away from the DA, are casting an inviting eye at De Lille as the possible face on their poster for next year’s national and provincial elections.
Khaya Magaxa, acting ANC provincial leader, said they would welcome De Lille “with open arms as she has leadership qualities and people skills”.
He said De Lille would not be parachuted to any position immediately and would be subjected to party processes.
“We have the capacities to ensure we reach people and that the correct candidates are selected, but there are processes that will have to be followed. If she joins the ANC we will find capacity for her and make sure that she is deployed where needed. We can’t, of course, predetermine what she will be doing in the party,” he said.
De Lille has been relying on the ANC for her survival as mayor of Cape Town, after they voted against a motion of no confidence in her.
De Lille, a former high-ranking PAC member, is embroiled in a disciplinary hearing for bringing her party, the DA, into disrepute.
De Lille did not respond to a question of whether she would move to the ANC now or in future. “Go and ask the political analysts,” she texted the Cape Argus.
De Lille is being investigated by the DA for interfering in the selection process of the City manager and allegedly covering up maladministration.
It is this smear on her reputation as a corruption fighter she is most fiercely fighting.
Magaxa said De Lille would add value as she also has good Struggle credentials. “We are always attracting people with leadership qualities and De Lille fits those requirements. She is a valuable leader and has contributed tremendously to the City of Cape Town as the mayor. She has also been a leader of the DA and there she did well.
“She managed to get an overwhelming majority for the DA and people merely voted for the DA because of her,” he said.
Asked if De Lille would assist with the coloured vote, Magaxa said: “The ANC already has processes in place to get votes, but De Lille’s personality and her Struggle credentials will help us.
“She has done it at the DA and she can do it again here. She has done so much work, and here with us she can do the same. The door will be open."
On Saturday De Lille tweeted a photo of her and President Cyril Ramaphosa when she welcomed him to the jazz festival.
Twitter users were quick to speculate about a possible move for De Lille to the ANC.
“He’s whispering: ‘come home Pat join the ANC’ neh,” Sebolali Molefe tweeted.
Other comments included: “ANC candidate for WC 2019?” and “Somebody might have found themselves a new home”.
Another Twitter user said: “Yesterday it was congratulating Cope and the UDM, now it’s hugging Ramaphosa. Just the EFF left, but you’re certainly keeping those party options open for when the DA kicks you out.”
On Sunday De Lille posted photos of her together with UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.