BRANDFORT - The leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Free State, Patricia Kopane confirmed to Dumelang News that her attendance to Wednesday’s memorial service of the late freedom fighter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela which was organised by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Brandfort, was to represent the national leader of the party, Mmusi Maimane. But this cannot be said when it comes to another Patricia (de Lille) who is now in the red, facing possible disciplinary action from the DA after she attended the same event without following proper channels.
According to Kopane, de Lille’s attendance at the event has been viewed in a serious light noting that she did not consult with the party’s top leadership as required. “Under normal circumstances, as a seasoned politician like Mme de Lille, she should know better that attending another political party’s gathering without consulting your leaders within has its consequences,” said Kopane. She hinted that her colleague will be called in to answer and negotiate on a remedial action. Political Analyst, Dumisani Hlophe said de Lille has raised suspicions of swapping her DA cap for a EFF red beret.
“The worst part was that she also took to the podium to address the gathering of a rival party, this may also be seen as an act of defiance against her party,” said Hlophe. De Lille was also reportedly billed on the EFF programme as “special colleague mayor”, but the EFF denied that it was recruiting De Lille who, according to speculation, is also being courted by the ANC. Recently, De Lille was seen at a jazz festival in Cape Town hugging ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, sparking a frenzy of speculation about her plans if the DA fired her. Another political analyst, Sanusha Naidu told the SABC that although De Lille has yet to reveal her intentions if the DA fires her, her attendance at the EFF gathering could land her in hot water with the Democratic Alliance.
Naidu said she was still a DA member until her inquiry was concluded, therefore the party could take exception to her being a guest and addressing a gathering of a rival party, especially considering the EFF’s head-butting with the DA in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Metro. Addressing the memorial service, De Lille praised Madikizela-Mandela for being a tough woman and described her as a “flower of the nation”.
“She was so tough, yet so soft, she cried with us,” De Lille said.She said Madikizela-Mandela made mistakes, but she knew and understood the struggle of the poor and had given everything, even her own life, to the cause. Yesterday the Executive Mayor and member of the DA, Patricia de Lille took to Twitter to voice her thought about her attendance at the EFF gathering. “I will not succumb to making my attendance at an EFF event a side issue. I went to honour Mama Winnie. I have great respect for Mama Winnie, she was a close friend and I regarded her as a sister. She was a former special colleague of mine,” Twitted the first citizen of Cape Town.