Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille is back in the Western Cape High Court in a bid to stave off attempts by her party the Democratic Alliance to relieve her of her duties. PHOTO: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA Photo
CAPE TOWN - The 24 hours given to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille to respond to the termination of her party membership to the Democratic Alliance (DA) was enough for her to make her case, the high court in Cape Town was told on Tuesday.

Sean Rosenberg, for the DA, disputed De Lille's argument that the 24 hours given to her after she was informed her membership of the party was terminated was unfair and unreasonable.

"There's nothing to suggest in this case that the .24 hour period was inadequate. We submit it was not inadequate given the relevant simplicity of what needed to be decided," said Rosenberg.

"Given the issue, the confined nature of the issue, determined on these facts, 24 hours was not unreasonable."

Rosenberg argued De Lille did not ask for more time to respond and was therefore not entitled to it.

De Lille was informed in May her membership had been terminated as a result of a clause in the DA Constitution which stated that publicly declaring one's intention to leave the party meant automatic termination of membership. In April, she told a radio talk show host she would leave her position once her name is cleared.

While De Lille's lawyers argue she meant she would leave her position as mayor, Rosenberg said listening to the context of the radio interview it was clear she intended to leave the DA given that her relationship with the party had "irretrievably broken down".

Furthermore, he said De Lille had no intention to mend the relationship and her only wish was to clear her name.

Asked why a disciplinary hearing could not be instituted to clear her name, Rosenberg said it was a "foregone conclusion" that the mayor would leave the party and a disciplinary inquiry was therefore not needed.

While De Lille won her first court battle against the DA when she was reinstated as mayor last month, the current matter will determine whether she holds onto the mayoral chain beyond June.

African News Agency/ANA