Supporters of ousted Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille gather outside the Western Cape High Court on Friday. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA
Supporters of ousted Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille gather outside the Western Cape High Court on Friday. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA

DA members to lose membership for supporting De Lille

By Mary Jane Mphahlele Time of article published May 13, 2018

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Cape Town - More DA members face the chop for openly showing support for axed Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille in her battle with the party.

DA leader in the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela warned those who were mobilising members from other political parties to support De Lille.

“When people join a political party, they agree to abide by the rules and the constitution of the party. I am quoting the DA constitution. Our constitution says that when a member mobilises members of other political parties to demonstrate against their own party, their membership will cease.”

DA members were present outside the Western Cape High Court to support De Lille, who was challenging the party’s constitutional clause on cessation of membership, and to interdict it from filling the position.

Members from other opposition parties including the ANC and EFF were also present to show support for De Lille.

Madikizela said the identities of those members who supported De Lille are known to the party and would be referred to the relevant structures to finalise their cessation of membership.

“We know these people, their photos are all over the media. In a party we need discipline and we cannot have people who do as they like. The Constitution of the party is clear on this matter.

“We have identified these individuals, we will contact their relevant branches to find out if they’re still members, and deal with them. By mobilising with other political parties against their own is insulting the DA.”

READ: Ousted Patricia de Lille warmly received outside court

The DA had used an obscure clause in its constitution to interpret an interview De Lille gave to talk radio host Eusebius McKaiser on April 26, as an indication of her resignation.

During the interview in question, De Lille said she would resign once her name was cleared. Thereafter, she argued that she was talking about resigning as mayor, not from the DA.

However, the DA was left with egg on its face on Friday after the Western Cape High Court placed the City of Cape Town’s administration in limbo, by ordering the City not to fill the vacant council post.

Madikizela said this was not a victory for De Lille, claiming the party had long ago agreed it would not fill the post.

“This was not a victory for De Lille. She seems to be the only person misunderstanding the court order. We, as the party, had long agreed that we would not fill the vacancy, that matter was not under dispute.

“We said we would only consider filling the vacancy after the court rules on the clause she is also challenging,” said Madikizela.

The court reserved judgment in the urgent matter relating to De Lille’s request that she continues being a DA member and Cape Town’s mayor. The matter resumes on May 25, when the court will consider the legality and constitutionality of the clause used to remove De Lille.

De Lille’s legal representatives argued at length that the party acted with undue haste to remove her, and bypassed the law.

For eight months, De Lille has been engaged in a battle with her former party to keep her mayorship position.

However, political analyst Ralph Mathekga said De Lille was better off without the party and the legal battles.

“She is fighting to be a mayor under a party which has lost confidence in her. I would advise that she retire. She can still walk away with her integrity. That is her personal right. She does not want to be remembered for being divisive,” said Mathekga.

De Lille said she would step down from her position after she has cleared her name of all allegations levelled against her by the DA.

“This fighting is not in the interest of the City of Cape Town residents, it is not in the best interest of service delivery. She will no longer be an effective mayor,” added Mathekga.

Weekend Argus

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