Aphiwe Deklerk And Naledi Shange
The Economic Freedom Fighters have hit out at the Democratic Alliance which has demanded answers from Cape Town Mayor‚ Patricia de Lille‚ on why she attended the EFF’s memorial for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela without informing them.
DA chairperson of the federal council‚ James Selfe‚ had earlier said de Lille would have to explain herself but the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu accused the party of targeting De Lille.
“This is evidently [a] witch hunt by the lily white liberals‚” Shivambu tweeted on Thursday.
“Free State DA provincial leader Patricia Komape and DA members in the Free State were at the memorial service as well. Patricia worked with Mama Winnie and it’s within her right to pay tribute in an appropriate platform‚” he added.
Selfe said De Lille had not informed the DA that she was going to be attending an EFF memorial for Madikizela-Mandela‚ instead of the official state event which was held in Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the same day.
“There are occasions when politicians of one party address rallies of another party. I mean [DA leader Mmusi Maimane] has done so. But we will require from her some explanation about why she didn’t tell us‚” said Selfe.
He said the party’s action would depend “under what guise she did that [not telling the party]”.
When contacted following her address‚ De Lille declined to comment specifically on Selfe’s comments.
“I am not prepared to do an interview … we must show respect for Mama Winnie‚ that’s why I went to pay tribute to her as a friend‚” said De Lille.
She said she would show respect to Madikizela-Mandela because she knew her as a mother and a friend.
De Lille’s appearance at the EFF event raised a lot of eyebrows as she is currently in trouble with her party‚ facing a disciplinary hearing.
She is currently serving as a mayor thanks to opposition parties and rebel DA councillors who defied their party’s motion of no confidence in her to keep her in power.
This will not be the first time De Lille has been linked to the EFF. Earlier when her troubles started‚ many linked her to the party but she downplayed the suggestions at the time‚ saying she was only concerned about clearing her name.
Speaking to TimesLIVE on Wednesday‚ EFF leader Julius Malema also denied that De Lille may be joining his party.
“She is coming as a speaker because she worked very close with uMama but she is not joining the EFF‚” said Malema.
Addressing the crowd at the memorial‚ De Lille spoke fondly about Madikizela-Mandela and their relationship.
She told the crowd that Madikizela-Mandela had given her a call asking about her troubles in the DA.
“The last time she phoned me must be in December … she said: ‘what are these boys doing to you man? Those boys don’t know who they are dealing with’‚ and she laughed and laughed and laughed. And I said: ‘Mama Winnie‚ I have got it under control but thank you for your support’‚” said De Lille.
She later sobbed as she took her seat.