South Africa: DA, De Lille Head to Court for Round 2

Photo: Supplied
Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille

The DA and Patricia de Lille will meet again in the Western Cape High Court for round two of De Lille's application for the court to review the decision to cease her party membership.

A full bench of the High Court will hear arguments on the matter on Monday and Tuesday, after it was initially postponed from May 25 due to the judges needing more time to assess the submissions.

The court granted De Lille interim relief on May 15, returning her to her position temporarily until the merits of her case could finally be debated in court this week.

De Lille argued in her original papers that her axing from the DA on May 8 was unconstitutional, and incorrectly applied to her.The DA was in essence infringing on her rights when it decided that she had effectively "self-resigned" during a Radio 702 interview conducted in late April.

According to the DA's constitution, a member's membership ceases when they publicly declare their intention to leave the party.

De Lille argued she had not declared her intention to resign immediately, and that her prospective resignation would be from her position in council, not the party.

Her counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that she had not declared her "deliberate" intention to resign during the interview in question, claiming the DA acknowledged that in its own papers.

Mpofu also said a letter sent by DA federal council chairperson James Selfe to the City council, should have been sent by the DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.

The DA's counsel Advocate Sean Rosenberg on the other hand claimed that De Lille's comments during the radio interview represented a clear intention to leave her party.

The party's decision was therefore not a "decision" so much as a "determination" ratifying what De Lille herself had already put into motion on the date she made the comments.

In supplementary affidavits filed last week, De Lille said the DA's relabelling of its decision as a "determination" was "just pure obfuscation".

Accusation of concealing information

She also alleged that Selfe's letter to the council concealed information relating to De Lille losing her seat, the papers read.

In replying affidavits, Selfe denied that the party concealed information when alerting council to the decision, saying the allegation was simply unfounded.

He also said that Madikizela sent his own letter to the council on the same day he had, after having realised that the municipal manager would not recognise a national signature, and needed a provincial one.

Complicating the matter further was the vote by the Cape Town City council on Thursday to strip De Lille of her executive powers "in perpetuity", while the court case is ongoing.

De Lille told journalists on Thursday that she intends taking that decision on review as well, and would advise her counsel to include the matter in the current proceedings.Arguments are set to be heard from Monday morning and end on Tuesday afternoon.

Source: News24

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