Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille File picture: African News Agency Archives
Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille has refused to make representations to the DA’s federal executive council about why she attended an EFF memorial service honouring Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

De Lille said she attended the memorial service in her personal capacity, as she had been invited by the Madikizela-Mandela family.

“I refused to respond to them (the DA) because the whole country was in mourning,” said De Lille.

She added that she wrote to DA federal executive council chairperson James Selfe informing him of her decision.

Read: DA caucus votes to axe Patricia de Lille

De Lille to explain attendance at #WinnieMandela memorial

“I wrote to James Selfe and asked him what is his problem. In my African tradition, when someone passed away like Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, I have an obligation to show my respect.

“I don’t need permission from anyone,” said De Lille.

She said after the memorial service she wrote to Selfe, telling him she would be attending the Madikizela-Mandela funeral. 

She added that she and Madikizela-Mandela were close friends and had also served as MPs.

A message from De Lille to Selfe, which the Cape Times has seen, reads: “I find it wholly inappropriate that this is being made a side issue while the country is in mourning.

“I have never had to notify the party if I leave the boundaries of the City. If this is the case, send me the policy regarding this protocol.”

De Lille further explains to Selfe that several other DA members with DA regalia were present at the memorial, including the party’s Free State leader, Patricia Kopane, who was one of the first speakers on the programme.

“This was a memorial service which I attended in my personal capacity, at the request of the family of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who gave the EFF permission to host the event,” read the e-mail.

Selfe told the Cape Times yesterday De Lille had explained that she had attended the EFF memorial in her personal capacity.

“We took it no further,” he said.

De Lille has been at loggerheads with her party following allegations of misconduct and maladministration against her by the party. 

However, she has denied the charges and challenged the DA to open her disciplinary hearing to the public to clear her name.

Despite this, a motion of no confidence in De Lille was passed by the party’s City caucus last week.

De Lille has until Wednesday to submit representations as to why she should not be sacked. Selfe said De Lille had not yet made representations.

De Lille confirmed that she would make her submissions before May 2. She said DA leader Mmusi Maimane had publicly stated that she was running away from accountability.

“I am not running away from accountability, but this is about fighting for my rights. We just celebrated Freedom Day and I know my rights.

“They are trying to avoid due processes. They have to wait for the disciplinary hearing to unfold before the motion of no confidence,” said De Lille.

She said the DA amended the party’s constitution and added the “accountability clause” in order to remove her.

Selfe said the accountability clause ensured the party could hold office-bearers accountable to the electorate.

He said the clause had been used already - in respect of the mayor of Matzikamma Municipality - and might also be used in the future for the speaker in the Stellenbosch Municipality.

The DA federal executive would “probably” meet next week to discuss De Lille, Selfe said.

[email protected]

Cape Times