Did Patricia De Lille Sell-Out The PAC?

By Politically Blunt

Patricia De Lille At A PAC Rally

IN a recent documentary aired on SABC TV, Democratic Alliance (DA) Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille seems to have sold-out the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) – not once but twice. Yes, for the young people this will sound weird. From shouting the slogan of “One Settler One Bullet” to being embedded within the settler’s party! But hey this is politics….of the stomach it is said these days!

In the documentary, Mama Pat talks about the “principled position the PAC took” in initially refusing to enter into South Africa’s negotiated settlement talks. She says the PAC had set the condition that the talks must be in a “neutral place and have a neutral chairperson”. Don’t ask me what is “neutral” in today’s world where capital and politics determine where and how you will be born and what you will eat and the air you will breath.

PAC insiders say there was never a go-ahead for De Lille and others to participate in the talks. For starters, the “principled” condition on which the PAC would participate never happened. But apparently promises of seats in parliament lured the Patricia De Lille’s of this country to betray their comrades, many of whom were still in exile at the time. These comrades reject the claims by PAC comrades inside the country who participated in negotiations, that there was pressure from neighbouring states for them to participate.

In 1994, De Lille served as a member of parliament (MP) under the flagship of the PAC until 2003 when she left to form her own political party, the Independent Democrats (ID) during a floor-crossing window. At the time she explained that she was leaving the PAC to find a home where she could express her special talents and “to find space for myself”.

After 16 years as an MP and having made some strong statements about her views on power-sharing with the “oppressor”, her rejection of the clause in the ANC Freedom Charter that, ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white” and many others, de Lille dropped a bombshell – she was leaving parliament to join the Democratic Alliance (DA) as MEC for social development. A month earlier, in August 2010, the ID had merged with the DA, and by 2014, it was officially dissolved.

This was the same de Lille who in an interview with Financial Mail in 2001 implied that, by voting for the DA, Coloured people in the Western Cape had lost their racial identity and had voted for ‘the oppressor’.

She was not known as “fiery Patricia de Lille” for nothing:

  • “We must first get our land back, then we can sort out the other details.” – (Die Suid-Afrikaan, 31 December 1993)
  • 16 February 1994

De Lille modifies the PAC slogan ‘One settler, one bullet!’ to “One settler, one plane ticket!” “The media should encourage them to leave to create space for the majority.”

“We (the PAC) want a government of Africans, by Africans and for Africans.” – (The Citizen, 16 February 1994)

  • Speaking at a 1960 Sharpeville commemoration service at the Grand Parade in Cape Town

“The PAC wants to destroy white domination and is not prepared to share power with the white minority. – (The Argus, 22 March 1994), (The Star, 22 March 1994)”

“Such whites should not be forced to remain, but should rather be encouraged to leave.

Their leaving will create space for skilled Africans who are presently roaming the streets. I am not a racist, they are. – (Sunday Times, 27 March 1994)”

The once “fiery Patricia de Lille” is now “beleaguered Patricia de Lille” as she fights to keep her DA membership and job as mayor. On 8 May 2018 the DA’s Federal Executive terminated De Lille’s party membership, thereby removing her as mayor of the DA governed city. A week later, the Western Cape High court temporarily suspended the cessation of her membership from the Democratic Alliance, effectively reinstating her as Mayor until a full hearing could take place. On May 31, 2018, The Cape Town City Council voted to relieve De Lille of her executive powers. She now has a ceremonial role as Mayor of Cape Town.

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How can we ever forget the so-called fiery De Lille parliament shouting: “Phanzi, ANC, phanzi” (Down, ANC, down) to ruling party hecklers – on leaving parliament after 16 years as an MP.



This is the same Patricia who would have on one moment been shouting: One Settle One Bullet” and in the next….well what does the DA speak for?


Dropping her bombshell in 1999, De Lille alleged she had evidence of three payments of half a million rand each by German warship supplier Thyssen-Krupp to the ANC, the Nelson Mandela Children’s’ Fund and the Community Development Foundation, a charity linked to his Mandela’s wife Graça Machel’s charity in Mozambique.

A multi-agency investigations team appointed by then president Thabo Mbeki exonerated the government of any wrongdoing, but recommended further investigations into some aspects of the strategic defence package.


de Lille used a “bizarre” document, the so-called De Lille dossier, to advance her career, the Seriti Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

The claim was made in an e-mail written by arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne to journalist Yazeed Kamaldien on Thursday morning.

“Dear Yazeed. I have no difficulty with Patricia de Lille denying that she told me that Winnie [Madikizela] Mandela was the leader of the ANC MPs who opposed the arms deal,” lawyer Marumo Moerane read from the e-mail at the inquiry’s public hearings in Pretoria.

“I received this from other sources.

“Patricia and I know that the importance of the De Lille dossier was not its content, but the hysteria it evoked in government. Patricia has brilliantly used that bizarre document to fashion a political career, including her present position as mayor of Cape Town.”

Crawford-Browne confirmed he wrote the e-mail.

Moerane represents several former government officials, including former president Thabo Mbeki, former defence minister Joe Modise’s family, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, and former trade and industry minister Alec Erwin.

Crawford-Browne was asked to tell the inquiry who told him about Madikizela-Mandela’s opposition to the arms deal.

“It is the late Bheki Jacobs and a couple of his associates. They are now also deceased. It is sadly true. There have been a number of deaths associated with the arms deal,” said Crawford-Browne.

“I have heard from other sources that Ms Mandela was the leader of the Members of Parliament opposed to the arms deal.”

On Tuesday, De Lille distanced herself from Crawford-Browne’s remarks that ANC stalwart Madikizela-Mandela was one of the “concerned MPs” who leaked information on the 1999 arms deal.

“I would like to put it on record that I did not tell Terry Crawford-Browne that Winnie Madikizela was one of the concerned ANC MPs who handed me the documents,” she said in a statement issued in her capacity as a former MP.

Crawford-Browne said information in the so-called “De Lille dossier” had been assembled by ANC intelligence operatives working with the party’s MPs.

“In the months before the supply agreements were signed, ANC whistle-blowers produced boxes of documentation to support allegations of corruption and fraud,” said Crawford-Browne.

De Lille testified at the inquiry this year and handed in her dossier as evidence.


Feisty Patricia de Lille crossed the floor into a new future on Wednesday.

The outspoken De Lille announced that she is quitting the Pan Africanist Congress and forming the Independent Democrats – a new political party.

Although there had been much speculation that possibly as many as eight other MPs might join her, De Lille made the announcement of the formation of her party on her own.

In fact, she admitted that no-one else had defected to join her – yet.


he did, however, say that she would soon announce the names of other “prominent parliamentarians who will join me”.

De Lille said the positive response to public speculation that she was breaking with the PAC, spurred her to take the move seriously.

“There was a massive show of support,” she said. “The response from the public and the business sector was overwhelming.”

She spoke movingly about her personal journey over the past two years and said: “I have travelled a long and arduous road before reaching this decision of today.”

She said she was confident of the support of a “talented group of people”, consisting of business leaders, high profile personalities, non-governmental organisation members and academics.

De Lille also unveiled a founding document of the Independent Democrats which said while South Africa’s democracy was based on a sound constitution and a national commitment to reconciliation party politics, it had failed the electorate.

She also stated that the opposition parties were too weak to keep the present government on its toes. “This is no party’s fault – as long as voting occurs along racial and historical lines, an imbalance in our politics will persist,” she said.

And because as much as 30 percent of the electorate had lost interest in voting, or felt uncertain about which party to support, it became important to think about alternatives.

“Voters need new options and choices to invigorate our politics and to hold the government accountable to the voters,” she said.

She said the Independent Democrats was founded on the principles of accountability, transparency and effective government.

De Lille committed her new party to an open, competitive market economy and the development of sound inter-group relations. She further committed the party to finding solutions to unemployment and to dealing with “the massive destruction caused by HIV and Aids”.

She denied that she was approached by the African National Congress to defect to them but admitted that a number of other parties, including the Democratic Alliance, had approached her to walk over to them.

De Lille took great care to explain that the reason she left the PAC was to find a home where she could express her special talents and “to find space for myself”.

She had informed the PAC leadership and her resignation had been accepted.

This seems to be the most exciting development in a week of defections but whether other parliamentarians will follow De Lille in the formation of the Independent Democrats in two months time, remains to be seen.


Patricia de Lille (born 17 February 1951) is a South African politician who is currently serving as Mayor of Cape Town, in office since 2011.[1] She was the founder and the leader of the Independent Democrats (ID), a political party which she formed in 2003 during a floor-crossing window, after she broke away from the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). In August 2010, the ID merged with the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s official opposition, and the party was officially dissolved in 2014.

De Lille was selected as the DA’s mayoral candidate in Cape Town, defeating incumbent Dan Plato, ahead of the 2011 local government elections, when she was elected mayor.[2]

De Lille was voted 22nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans, and is noted for her role in investigations into the country’s controversial Arms Deal.[3]

On 8 May 2018 the DA’s Federal Executive terminated De Lille’s party membership, thereby removing her as mayor of the DA governed city.[4][5] A week later, the Western Cape High court temporarily suspended the cessation of her membership from the Democratic Alliance, effectively reinstating her as Mayor[6] until a full hearing could take place.[7] On May 31, 2018, The Cape Town City Council voted to relieve De Lille of her executive powers. She now has a ceremonial role as Mayor of Cape Town. [8]




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