Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has defended former DA member Patricia de Lille’s role as a “unifier in society”.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, Tutu said: “Leah and I are very sad that Patricia De Lille’s services will be lost to the City of Cape Town. Although she represented a particular political party, she played an important role as a unifier in a society still bearing the scars of its divided past.”

The Democratic Alliance confirmed the cessation of De Lille’s membership from the party on Tuesday.

Read: De Lille not considering any future political homes just yet

James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, made the announcement at a media briefing in Cape Town.

The DA charged De Lille with misconduct earlier this year, following various claims.

The embattled mayor survived a motion of no confidence in her in February, but in an internal motion of no confidence against her in April, the party voted to recall her as mayor.

Read more: De Lille still calls herself ‘the mayor’ in court challenge

The DA cited clause 3.5.1.2 in its constitution, which says that if a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign, then their membership ceases immediately.

De Lille said she will be challenging the matter in court in a bid to clear her name.

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