Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is bracing for another round in her continued legal battle with the Democratic Alliance.
Yesterday, the Cape Town High Court ruled that the party’s decision to expel her was illegal and that the party violated its own constitution.
The judges found various procedural irregularities in De Lille’s removal, including with the federal legal commission (FLC) panel dealing with her case.
Despite the rift between herself and the party, De Lille was determined to fight her fellow members from the inside.
“But this is just another round that I have won today,” she said. “Tomorrow I am back in court again, because the party refused to give me the evidence they used to find me guilty without due process. I requested a copy of the Steenhuisen report, which they refused to provide. All of these allegations they have made … some of them have come with no names, no dates and very little detail.”
But DA deputy federal chairperson Natasha Mazzone said the party’s bid to oust the De Lille was far from over and appealing yesterday’s high court ruling was an option.
Shortly after the judgment, the party also announced it would be seeking another motion of no confidence against her.
Speaking to The Citizen, Mazzone said it was “madness” to claim the party was on a witch-hunt. She said the party was only acting in the interest of good governance.
“One of the difficulties here is that we are currently in a situation where 75% of the Cape Town caucus has no confidence in her.
“They feel she is not a capable leader and that makes it difficult because we want to ensure that service delivery in Cape Town continues,” she explained. “I think it’s very telling that she refused to cooperate with the Bowman and Gilfillan investigation.”
De Lille contended it was the party that was making it impossible for her to prepare for the disciplinary proceedings against her.
“I need to be given an opportunity to prepare myself to go to the disciplinary, so that I can cross-examine all the witnesses and prepare a defence, but I can’t do that if they refuse to give me the information I need,” she said.