Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who is possibly facing the axe through a vote of no-confidence, has roped in the services of Dali Mpofu. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - Embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who is possibly facing the axe through a vote of no-confidence next week, has roped in the services of the prominent lawyer and EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu.

On Thursday, De Lille lodged an application with the Western Cape High Court in which she seeks to have next week’s motion of no-confidence against her should be done by secret ballot, and that the DA can’t compel it’s councillors on the party’s instruction.

On Friday the DA threatened that should De Lille persist with her application, the party would seek a punitive costs award for "abusing the court's process with pointless and unfounded" litigation. 

In a statement, DA Federal Council Chairperson, James Selfe said that her application displayed a lack of appreciation for the law and the relevant facts.

The DA had earlier indicated that it wants her removed as mayor following an internal party investigation but primarily accusing her of covering up fraud and tender corruption in the City of Cape Town’s transport directorate.

The directorate’s head Melissa Whitehead has placed on suspension and former City manager Achmat Ebrahim resigned last month.

On February 13 De Lille’s application will be heard in the High Court.

“When we wrote to the DA caucus chair, Suzette Little on 6 February 2018 requesting that caucus commits itself to a free vote, she responded the following day to say that James Selfe advised that, ‘All caucus members are bound by the Caucus decision even those who did not vote on that day. This is a majority decision and that is what the Caucus is bound to’.

“I therefore do not understand why my actions are being labelled as being “misguided” and “vexatious” when Mr Selfe himself issued this instruction.

“There have been attempts to intimidate me and asking me to withdraw the matter but I am going ahead because at this stage only the court can ensure fairness,” said De Lille.

Political Bureau