Cape Town - Supporters of the Democratic Alliance as well as former Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille gathered in their numbers outside the Western Cape High Court on Friday where the politician is challenging her ousting from the party.
De Lille and her former political party's deputy federal council chairwoman Natasha Mazzone were both in court for the urgent application.
Lawyers for De Lille are set to argue that she retain her post at least until June when the court is due to hear a full legal challenge to her ousting by the DA.
The DA, in its court papers, said it would leave the position of mayor vacant until the application for final relief is concluded.
In heads of argument, De Lille's lawyers say it would have severe implications for all parties, including the city of Cape Town, if she should win that case and a new mayor had been appointed in the interim. Decisions taken under him or her may become invalid.
There was a confrontation between the Oostenberg Development Forum and DA supporters just outside the Western Cape High Court. The forum is here for a hearing related to evictions in Kraaifontein, while the DA supporters came for Patrica de Lille's case. Video: @soyiso_maliti pic.twitter.com/Wp1Eca7PZP
Supporters from @Our_DA are seen outside the Western Cape High Court, along with groups who turned out to support @PatriciaDeLille ahead of the court hearing. #DeLille
Pictures: @JasonFelix pic.twitter.com/PJSD9T3LVH
The DA has made an offer not to appoint a new mayor until the case comes before the courts in mid-June.
The offer, confirmed by James Selfe, the chair of the party's federal executive, is meant to counter De Lille's urgent application that she be allowed to retain the post she held for seven years and lost earlier this week.
She was fired from the DA on the basis of breaching the cessation clause in the party's constitution.
According to the rule, a member ceases to belong to it once he or she has made public an intention to resign from the party.
Its federal executive argued that this applied to De Lille because on April 26 she said in an interview with Radio 702 that she planned to quit the DA once she had cleared her name. The party has accused her of misconduct after a political investigation headed by its chief whip John Steenhuisen found that the council was riven by tension under her leadership, and scheduled a disciplinary process.
She has been accused of a draconion leadership style, and of seeking to protect colleagues implicated in corruption.
De Lille has fought back in highly public fashion, and accused the party of targeting her because of her efforts to reverse an apartheid legacy of social inequality and spatial planning.
Her legal team includes Dali Mpofu SC who is also the National Chairperson for the Economic Freedom Fighters.
African News Agency/ANA