CAPE TOWN – A full bench of the High Court in Cape Town will make a ruling before the end of June on whether a clause in the Democratic Alliance (DA) constitution used to strip Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille of her party membership was unlawful.
Western High Court sat through two days of hearing arguments from De Lille’s legal representatives and those of the DA.
De Lille’s counsel, Dali Mpofu summing up his arguments, said the DA was looking after its own fraction and selfish interests instead of those of the country and the people of Cape Town by not affording De Lille an opportunity to defend herself against misconduct allegations related to her job as Cape Town mayor in a disciplinary process, he said instead the party choosed to take a “short cut” to terminate her party membership.
Mpofu asked, “If she did all these horrible things, then why give here a free pass?”
“It should be more important for the people of the country, let alone Cape Town, whether De Lille has done all these things…”
Mpofu commented that the DA wanted the allegations to continue hanging over De Lille’s head.
He further asked the court to rule against the DA, he said the party was more concerned with “saving face in the public”. Instead of making sure the truth about the alleged maladministration against De Lille be revealed.
“This is a matter where a message should be sent and a punitive costs order should be made.”
DA senior counsel Sean Rosenberg, said a disciplinary inquiry was no longer needed as De Lille’s leaving the party was a “foregone conclusion”.
He argued that even if the DA did not follow precise procedure when terminating De Lille’s membership, she still ceases to be a member of the party because she had publicly declared her intention to resign and in doing so breached the cessation clause .
He said, “Her fate would be sealed.”