CAPE TOWN, June 27 – Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille emerged victorious following the high court in Cape Town ruling in her favour on Wednesday, but her fight with her political party the Democratic Alliance (DA) is far from over.
The DA said it was studying Wednesday’s judgment which set aside there party’s termination of her membership and may challenge the judges on their decision.
“We will study the judgment and consider further legal options including the possibility of an appeal,” said Natasha Mazzone, DA Federal Council deputy chairwoman.
Despite the court ruling to the contrary, Mazzone insisted the party followed the correct procedures when it invoked a new clause in its Constitution which stripped De Lille of her membership on the basis that she publicly declared her intention to resign from the party during a radio interview in April.
A full bench of the high court found the DA had violated its own Constitution and rules, finding a panel of the DA Federal Legal Council, which made a determination on the automatic cessation of De Lille’s membership, was improperly constituted.
In addition, De Lille was not given a fair opportunity to submit evidence to rebut the allegations against her.
“The determination by the first respondent that the applicant has ceased to be a member of the DA….is declared to be unlawful and invalid and is reviewed and set aside with costs,” said Judge Andre Le Grange in a unanimous judgment.
Last month, De Lille won part one of her challenge against the DA – an interim order allowing her to carry on as mayor while the current matter was before the court.
The mayor told reporters at court she felt vindicated by the ruling.
“This victory is not just a victory for me. It’s a victory for the people of Cape Town because I can go back now and I’m energised more than ever before to go back and continue to serve the poor, the marginalised and the most vulnerable in our city,” said De Lille.
She said the judgment gives her an opportunity to defend herself against several allegations of misconduct levelled against her by DA leaders.
“Indeed, this judgment has far-reaching effects. The whole Federal Legal Commission of the DA has been declared invalid, and together with that, all decisions they have taken, including all the disciplinary hearings and the attempts to discipline me. They have to start from the beginning.”
– African News Agency (ANA)