Three Western Cape High Court judges unanimously declared Wednesday that the DA’s cessation of De Lille’s membership was unlawful and therefore invalid.
But Natasha Mazzone, DA federal council deputy chair, said there were grounds for an appeal as judges Andrew le Grange, Pearl Mantame and Mark Sher did not focus on the serious allegations.
“The facts of this matter remain that 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 her leadership style was divisive, autocratic and made it difficult for councillors to carry out duties and effectively serve the people of Cape Town and drive service delivery,” she said.
De Lille took the DA to court after her comments that she would resign from her position after clearing her name were made in an interview with radio host Eusebius McKaiser on Radio 702/Cape Talk 567.
De Lille will try to set aside DA chief whip John Steenhuisen’s report into allegations of misconduct at the City. “I have been waiting and they have not come forward with information. I will also respond to all other matters raised and (which) have until now remain unanswered.”
Mazzone said political leadership is about taking the people 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.
“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 and as such, we will move a motion of no confidence against Patricia de Lille.”
De Lille has said she is mature enough to work with councillors irrespective of differences. “I work in the interest of the poorest communities of Cape Town. That is all I am interested in,” she said.
Mazzone also pointed to the unanswered questions around whether she did or did not send the SMS to councillor Xanthea Limberg asking that then city manager Achmat Ebrahim be scored higher because “she wants to keep him”.
In their ruling, the judges said: “In the circumstances the party’s failure to comply with clauses of its own constitution therefore amounted to a further, material irregularity which vitiates the decision that was aimed at, namely, that De Lille’s membership has ceased to exist.”
Thandi Makasi, ANC metro chief whip, said the ANC had long held the view that the case against De Lille was flawed. “The DA must immediately restore all powers of the mayor and allow her to continue the work of serving the people of Cape Town.”