31/01/2017 06:46 GMT | Updated 31/01/2017 06:48 GMT

De Lille Hits Out At Factional Battles Rumours, Labels It 'Anti-Transformation'

Appointment of city councillor shows factional politics at play, the paper reported

Henry Romero / Reuters
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille speaks to the media during a news conference at the C40 Mayors Summit at a hotel in Mexico City, Mexico December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero

A "bruising power play" is the reason behind Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille's surprise resignation as Democratic Alliance's (DA) provincial leader in the Western Cape, according to a Business Day report.

But De Lille told the paper that those behind talk that factional politics was really behind her decision to leave were opposed to her transformation agenda.

Business Day reported on Tuesday that Smith was "reinstated" to his former position as heading the safety and security portfolio in the City, but De Lille had other plans for him. Her "defiance" had angered party leaders, the paper said, and pointed to broader tensions behind De Lille and the DA's "old guard", including Zille.

The paper reported on Tuesday that at the heart of De Lille's exit was tension between herself and other party heavyweights including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Specifically, the paper said the "factional power play" had culminated in a fight over the appointment to her mayoral executive committee of Cape Town councillor JP Smith.

In her resignation letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday, De Lille said her decision was based on a need to focus her energies on her mayoral duties.

She said in the letter: "Taking Cape Town to the next level of government is an exciting prospect, but one that will take all of my time. As we position the party to be the next national government, I believe that those of us in government and other spheres have a duty to build the party's experience in, and capacity for, public management in preparation for effective custodianship of the state."