Mayoral mistreatment

Rozario Brown, Eastridge

As a coloured person, I believe that I’ll be doing my community a great disservice by failing to speak out about the treatment being meted out to current Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille.

The DA saw fit to use Patricia’s face on its posters in not one, but two election campaigns. By doing so, they convinced the overwhelming majority of voters in the last municipal elections in Cape Town, approximately 66% percent of all voters, that Ms De Lille was the best candidate with the best values and the best principles, to lead this City.

Notwithstanding the various public allegations made by the DA against the mayor, some of it quite serious, I find it absolutely distasteful how the party, especially some men, have been going after this coloured woman.

It would be disingenuous of us to totally ignore the similarities in the manner in which Ms De Lille is today being treated and how former mayors, Peter Marais and Gerald Morkel, were treated. It cannot be a sheer coincidence that all these people happen to be coloured.

Regardless what other race groups might think of us as a coloured community, we have our own cultures, our own preferences and we have the right to ask serious questions when our own appear to be under attack, especially when these attacks appear to be totally unfair.

My understanding is that Ms De Lille is currently being investigated by the DA’s Federal Legal Commission. I further believe that this commission has been given a deadline in which it would complete its investigations and report back to the party.

There appears to be a process in place and I would urge the DA to use and respect its own internal processes in dealing with the mayor and stop humiliating the woman in public.

I can unfortunately no longer sit back and be silent on this issue. This woman happens to be a mother, a sister, a daughter and yes, a prominent coloured person.

Too many and too often coloured people are being falsely accused of crimes, portrayed as corrupt, backstabbers, untrustworthy and unreliable. By the time the court makes its pronouncements and clears the people’s names they are out of their jobs, their reputations totally destroyed and careers in tatters.

Some politicians are master manipulators and pathological liars and they confuse these horrible qualities with being great politicians when in fact, they are just being grossly dishonest, cunning, slimy and unsuitable for public office.

In conclusion, I urge the leadership of the DA to have faith in its own internal processes. If you firmly believe that you have a solid and winnable case against Ms De Lille then use these internal processes to deal with her.

If she has transgressed any of the laws of the country in the execution of her job as mayor of the City the DA should have brought criminal charges against her.

Without going into the merits of the alleged R5 million bribe case against her, I am by no means an attorney or legal expert, but based on the facts in the public domain the case would more than likely not even end up in a court of law.

In fact, the DA should have brought charges against the person who made the allegations, because he has been sitting on information about this alleged crime for six year and his coming forward at this stage is just too convenient.

This in itself is very dodgy.

If she is found to be guilty of any wrongdoing by a competent court or a by means of a fair internal process by the DA, she must do the honorable thing and step aside.

We need to encourage our young people, especially those on the Cape Flats, to enter the political arena. These attacks on the mayor is certainly not going to inspire youngsters to consider a career in politics. It will in fact discourage them.

Our coloured children must be allowed to dream big. They should never start believing that being a drug trafficker and dealer is the only thing they are destined to become. They should know that when they aim to become the mayor of our City or the premier of a province, that they will have a fair shot without the fear of people pulling strings and manipulating processes to create obstacles in their path to success. They should be allowed to compete openly and fairly. They must know that when they are being accused of wrongdoing that they’ll have the opportunity to defend themselves before a competent, transparent and honest authority.

More importantly, our children should know that they have the right to differ with party leaderships without the fear of being sidelined, demoted, subjected to kangaroo courts or being constructively dismissed.

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