Cape Town - All eyes are on the high court on Tuesday as judgment is expected in the mayoral saga, a case that has kept the City in limbo for more than a week, with acting mayor Ian Neilson postponing the announcement of a mayoral committee twice.
Axed mayor Patricia de Lille is challenging her removal from the party in court, and mere days after he automatically took over the mayor’s office, Neilson was served with court papers.
Neilson announced on Sunday he would be appointing an interim mayco if the court did not make any ruling on the case involving De Lille by 3pm on Monday.
But high court Judges Patrick Gamble and Monde Samela announced that their judgment in the urgent court matter between De Lille and the DA regarding the cessation of her membership would be delivered on Tuesday.
“If the court had required substantially more time to deliberate, then it would have been in the best interest of the City for a mayco to be announced as soon as possible to provide leadership in the interim.
“However, given that the judgment will now be delivered within a day, I have resolved to postpone the announcement of the mayco,” Neilson said. He said the court reserved judgment and indicated it was not in a position to state when its ruling would be delivered.
De Lille said: “(Yesterday morning) the court informed us of the judgment that would be delivered. My lawyers had written to Neilson and his lawyers asking if they could withhold the appointment of the mayco. I am prepared for this case and will go all the way.”
Neilson has, however, appointed representatives to deal with specific issues on a case-by-case basis because the mayco was dissolved with De Lille’s axing.
One of Neilson’s representatives is JP Smith, who served as mayco member for safety, security and social services under De Lille.
Smith said Neilson asked him to deal with a matter of civil unrest in Vrygrond.
“We don’t have a mayco at the moment. We are being asked to deal with certain issues case by case. I was asked to deal with the Vrygrond unrest because the acting mayor himself cannot do everything on his own. Things are still in limbo.”
Last Friday, judgment was reserved after counsel for both parties presented their arguments in the application in which De Lille was challenging the DA’s termination of her membership. The Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of De Lille’s application to interdict the Electoral Commission of SA from filling the vacancy after her axing from the DA.
ANC Cape Town regional spokesperson Khaya Yozi said: “The ANC warned him and the DA that doing so would be undermining the rule of law. The matter at hand is in court and the ruling will be made soon.”
De Lille is fighting to get her DA membership back after the party terminated it, meaning she can no longer be mayor. This follows a radio interview in which she said she would walk away after the whole process.