Who will the DA choose to replace Patricia de Lille as Cape Town mayor?

Helen Zille - [Google Images]

The DA leadership will meet this week to discuss the process it will follow in finding a replacement for Patricia de Lille.

This follows the announcement by the Cape Town mayor of her resignation from the party last week, after a series of court battles, public feuds and failed motions of no confidence in her.

De Lille’s resignation will come into effect at the end of October, and in exchange, the DA has agreed to drop all disciplinary charges against her.

DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said the party’s provincial executive committee would meet on Monday to discuss a possible date for nominations to be made for the mayoral post and then engage the federal executive at its meeting next weekend.

“Once we agree on the date, we will allow people to forward their applications and the screening process will begin, and those who make it will be sent through to the selection panel,” said Madikizela.

Helen Zille

It is understood that Western Cape premier Helen Zille is being touted to replace De Lille after having been approached by some within the DA caucus.

However, Zille said she would prefer to finish her term as premier of the province.

Asked if the DA members were defying the party’s constitution by approaching Zille before the start of opening the nomination process, Madikizela said there was nothing sinister about the move.

“We are a democratic party and there’s nothing wrong with some members of the caucus who think Helen might be the ideal candidate,” he said.

It was his view too that the premier should complete her term, he said.

DA federal executive chairman James Selfe confirmed that the process of replacing De Lille would be overseen by the party’s federal executive.

“There’s going to be a mayoral elective panel, and that will meet in due course and they will invite applications for people who want to be mayor,” he said.

“They will meet and interview the applicants and thereafter make recommendations to the federal executive.”

Suitable candidates needed to be competent, understand how to handle complex political situations, understand the legislative environment in which they operate and understand the demands of the people of Cape Town, Selfe said.