DA MP Natasha Mazzone Photo: INLSA

Cape Town - Following the ruling in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday that the process the party used to axe Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille was unlawful, DA federal council deputy chair, Natasha Mazzone, said they are considering an appeal of the judgement.

“We believe that there are certain issues that the court did not look at. There are serious reports that have not been considered. There was a greater focus on our internal issues and the case, and we don’t agree with that,” Mazzone said.
 
The ruling comes after months of internal conflict between the Democratic Alliance and Mayor Patricia De Lille.

The party has tried to remove De Lille as not only mayor but also as a member of the DA, with both attempts ending up in the Western Cape High Court.

After the court ruled in De Lille's favour that she was to remain Mayor, the party then had her executive powers stripped during a seven-hour-long, heated council meeting at the start of this month. 

De Lille, now only a ceremonial mayor, warned the DA caucus that their actions would result in service delivery being negatively affected. Seated next to deputy mayor Ian Neilson while he read out how her powers would be stripped, De Lille said: “I just want to tell you, what you are deciding today is going to negatively affect the service delivery of this City. But I will see you in court.”

Wednesday's judgment comes after the DA decided to terminate her member back in May. 

Mazzone had said at the time that De Lille’s membership has ceased because of the controversy surrounding her.

The main reason for the steps comes after her interview on Radio 702/567 with Eusebius McKaiser last month, where she allegedly said that she will resign.

In a statement issued after Wednesday's ruling, the DA said it notes the judgment handed down by the Western Cape High:

"It is noteworthy that the court only dealt with technical and procedural matters and did not express itself on the substantive merits of the matter. We will study the judgment and consider further legal options including the possibility of an appeal," said Mazzone.

"We are committed to putting the people of Cape Town first and will seek to do so at every turn."

The facts of this matter remain:

  • The City of Cape Town caucus which Patricia de Lille led, expressed that it had lost confidence in her leadership by means of a vote- twice.
  • It stated that her leadership style was divisive, autocratic and made it difficult for councillors to carry out their duties and effectively serve the people of Cape Town and drive service delivery.
  • Political leadership is about taking the people that you lead along with you. It is impossible for anyone to lead a caucus in which more than 75% of those people no longer have confidence in your abilities based on a number of issues.

These issues are:

  • An independent investigation conducted on the instruction of the entire council found prima facie evidence of gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving council.
  • Ms De Lille presided over the City’s very first downgrade of the City’s audit status by the Auditor General. This was as direct result of governance and leadership failures on her part.
  • The statement by Mazzone goes on to explain that the party is aware of how confusing it has been for the people of Cape Town, but the DA "had no choice but to protect the highest standard of leadership expected from our executive office holders.

"In contrast, the DA no matter how hard it may be, will continue holding its public representatives to the highest standard of accountability. We will not be deterred.

"As such, we will seek move a motion of no confidence against Patricia De Lille."

Cape Argus