Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille decided to step down because she was tired of the “abuse” from the Democratic Alliance.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Sunday that De Lille would step down at the end of October.
“I am pleased to announce today that the DA and Patricia de Lille have reached a mutual agreement which resolves the question of the leadership of the DA government in Cape Town,” Maimane said on Sunday.
But De Lille, who has stood as Cape Town’s mayor since 2011, maintained that she did not reach an agreement with the party, but had decided out of her own volition to step down. She said in a tweet moments after the press conference that she could not take the “consistent abuse”.
De Lille, who has been accused of bringing the party into disrepute, also said that she felt “vindicated” and that she would now be spending her last few months in office giving her attention to the land invasions that the city had experienced.
The charges that were brought against her by the DA would also be dropped.
“I’ll be spending these months trying to find resolutions to the land invasions that we have been experiencing. I want to make sure that I engage with the 20 hotspots across the city, and that our pro-poor budget is communicated and implemented,” she said on Twitter.
During an interview with 702 breakfast show host Bongani Bingwa on Monday morning, De Lille also denied that she had struck a deal with the party, which had long been campaigning for her removal.
DA deputy caucus leader JP Smith, who has been a harsh critic of de Lille, said that her resignation was an “admission of guilt”. De Lille denied this on Bingwa’s show.
“He is talking absolute nonsense as usual. The question that many South Africans are asking now is to say ‘Patricia you fought so long in the saga with the DA. You won all your court cases. The motion of no confidence did not succeed against you. Why have you now decided to resign as mayor and give up the fight?’” she said.
De Lille said that she had been fighting for “a principle and not a position”.
“I’m now walking away from the position of the mayor because all I wanted to do was to clear my name right from the beginning,” she said.
She also affirmed that she would still pursue legal action against party members who made allegations against her.
“I’m not finished with those people who made those allegations as if I was found guilty in public,” she said, as she explained that there are “12 people on the list”.