A cheerful Patricia de Lille — known affectionately in politics as Aunty Pat — has been doing the media rounds on Thursday morning, basking in the glory of being appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure.
As reported by Times Live, the new minister and founder of the Good party — a new opposition in politics — was on Power FM talking about how sudden things changed after she received the call from the president on the afternoon of the Cabinet announcement.
Aunty Pat recalls the call that changed everything
According to De Lille, when she was rung up by the president for an impromptu meeting, she had no clue what to expect.
Little did she know, there would be a ministerial job offer on the table for the former mayor of Cape Town.
“I was deeply humbled and honoured when the president called me late yesterday afternoon to come and see him. When I arrived in Pretoria, the president asked if I would be available to serve. I have always said I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity,” she said.
Did she snub the DA in her interview?
The interview went off on a bit of a tangent and the PowerFM Breakfast team jokingly made utterances about her new prestigious position, stating that she would probably have to get used to the blue-light brigade ministers are often transported in.
However, De Lille was quick to deny this. Chuckling, Aunty Pat threw a subliminal in her response and said:
“No, no. No blue lights. I’m staying away, far away from anything that’s blue,” she said.
Is this a political ingenious move by Ramaphosa?
The light-hearted jab at her former alliance did nothing to remove the questions about this new appointment possibly being a game of chess by a Ramaphosa with a long-term goal of removing the DA from power in the Western Cape.
“We must forget about the DA. They have enough problems among themselves in the different factions and they must sort it out.
“What we need in our country is, we need to rise above our political differences and we need to serve when we are called upon to do so. I am really not bothered by what the DA is saying or thinking,” she stressed.
DA’s reaction to the appointment
Reacting to the appointment, the DA’s spokesperson, Solly Malatsi stated that despite their differences, the party welcomed Aunty Pat’s appointment.
“She must dala what she must. We congratulate everyone who has made it into Cabinet. They have a massive responsibility to serve South Africans honestly, diligently and our role as the official opposition is to hold those accountable to the demands of what the constitution requires of them,” he said.