- Reports that the ANC are courting ousted Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille, have grown following a story appearing in the Sunday newspapers
- De Lille is said to have asked for a diplomatic posting to the US in return for joining the ANC her membership with the DA is fully over
- At present, De Lille is fighting a battle to have her membership with the DA maintained while she “fights to clear her name” from allegations the party has levelled against her of corruption and mismanagement
The rumours of Patricia De Lille being courted by the country’s ruling party following her troubles with the Democratic Alliance (DA) were followed by a report in a Sunday broadsheet which suggested De Lille has asked for a diplomatic posting to Washington if she were to join the party.
Briefly.co.za learned from reports in the Sunday Times, that the ANC had been making overtures to De Lille since February this year in the hopes that she might be able to help the party win back lost support among Western Cape coloured communities.
According to the report, informal approaches began in February and were handled from ANC headquarters, Luthuli House. They are apparently being led by the elections team.
ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula reportedly told the newspaper that while individuals might have made the approach, no formal talks had begun.
“I can’t deny the fact that there could be talks, in the fluid political environment we are in, with Patricia and individuals in the ANC. But saying there are formal talks with her is an exaggeration,” said Mbalula. “The ANC is open, but in this particular instance we are not in formal talks to woo her to the ANC.”
In February President Cyril Ramaphosa, as leader of the ANC, was hosted in the mayoral suite at the Cape Town city hall when he launched the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations.
Ramaphosa and De Lille also reportedly exchanged pleasantries when they bumped into each other at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in March.
Party officials in the province, said local party structures, specifically those in the Cape Flats, were keen that the ANC woo De Lille to the ANC hoping her popularity and charisma would increase support of the ANC.
The ANC which has seen a sharp decline in popularity the province has reportedly also roped in former premier Ebrahim Rasool to stem the losses.
There seems to be a view held by many within the party that Rasool, paired with De Lille could make a strong impact in the ANC’s standing in the Western Cape at next year’s elections.
“Branches are telling us to meet with her, they are saying she could help drum up support, especially in the coloured areas. People are saying she ideologically belongs in the ANC,” said the anonymous official cited by the Sunday Times.
As of Sunday morning, De Lille hadn’t reacted to the reports and reportedly didn’t respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.
Other rumours of late have included that De Lille was offered a seat in parliament in exchange for resigning as the mayor of Cape Town. However, DA leader Mmusi Maimane denied these rumours.
He said, De Lille rejected the first offer of an MP’s job late last year, and he had been repeated it. “Once the ship for that had sailed, how do I convince people in parliament? She rejected it the first time and said she doesn’t want to go to parliament for whatever reasons,” said the DA leader.
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