The DA said Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille's court application regarding a pending motion of no confidence in her is 'puzzling'. Picture: Tracey Adams / ANA

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa's largest opposition party, on Thursday said Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille's court application regarding a pending motion of no confidence in her is "puzzling at best and vexatious at worst".

The embattled mayor on Thursday launched an urgent application in the high court as she wants a secret ballot when councillors vote on the motion on February 15.

De Lille faces party and criminal charges for alleged misconduct and corruption. 

Tweeting on Thursday, De Lille said she wanted to "ensure that members of the DA caucus are free to vote according to their conscience, either in favour or against the motion of no confidence against me on 15 Feb".

Read more: #DeLille to fight DA secret ballot in no-confidence vote

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said: "It is important to dispel a number of inaccuracies in the Mayor’s statement. In as so far as the free vote is concerned, the DA is a party which respects and upholds the Constitution. In the interest of the rule of law, we have not instructed councillors to vote in any particular way as per the Constitutional Court’s judgment in United Democratic Movement (UDM) v Speaker, National Assembly and Others 2017, in particular, how this applies to municipal councils".

"In so far as the secret ballot is concerned, this is a decision to be taken by the Council and not the DA. Their voting is done either by a show of hands, electronic voting or any other method decided by Council".

He said the application was "misguided" and that DA legal representatives were dealing with the matter. 

African News Agency/ANA