'COMPLETE NOVICE': Natasha Mazzone
Cape Town - A  public spat has erupted between Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and the DA’s “scripted” spokesperson, Natasha Mazzone, who has been accused of being a complete novice regarding the court case.

The row comes as De Lille’s court application for the review of the DA’s internal report into her conduct was postponed to November.

In her open letter to Mazzone, the DA deputy federal council chairperson, the mayor said: “Like all previous scripted spokespersons, my advice to you is to read and understand your script before you so eagerly do interviews

“It is about time that you allow the actual spokesperson for the DA, Solly Malatsi, to do his job.”

Mazzone has been slammed for criticising the outcome of Wednesday’s court case, in which the Western Cape High Court ruled that De Lille’s removal from the DA was unlawful.

“It is disgusting that you attack the judiciary. Please leave my advocate, Dali Mpofu SC, alone because the court has just ordered the DA to pay for his services,” she said.

Mazzone did not respond to the open letter, but to a statement pertaining to De Lille’s court application yesterday.

De Lille wants the courts to compel the DA to submit evidence used to formulate the report, which was compiled by a party subcommittee chaired by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

READ: DA, #DeLille court battle to resume in November

De Lille said the DA had to file their answering affidavit by June 18, but they had only submitted it on Wednesday afternoon, June 27.

In February, De Lille approached the Western Cape High Court to review and set aside the Steenhuisen report.

“The reason for this was that the report contained a number of findings and recommendations based on untested allegations. Although I was given the opportunity to respond to these allegations, I was never given the evidence presented to the Steenhuisen subcommittee nor the source (identity of complainant) or context (time and place of my alleged conduct) of any of the allegations. This made it very difficult for me to defend myself,” she said, adding that the DA owed her more than R1 million in legal fees.

The internal inquiry was established in 2017 to investigate political tensions in the DA Cape Town caucus as well as complaints about the nature and style of her internal leadership.

The inquiry was chaired by Steenhuisen, DA Gauteng provincial leader John Moodey, DA Free State provincial leader Patricia Kopane and councillor Karen Smith.

Asked about the DA’s planned no-confidence motion, she said: “I am ready to fight both of these as vigorously as ever before.”

Mazzone said De Lille had repeatedly stated that she wanted the names of the whistle-blowers who gave testimony at the inquiry.

“The DA is of the opinion that these individuals are protected under the Protected Disclosures Amendment Act, which seeks to prevent any intimidation.

“This is vital as Ms De Lille has already publicly attacked and sought to intimidate two whistle-blowers in the City of Cape Town,” Mazzone said.

De Lille has also claimed that the DA missed the deadline to submit their answering affidavit. But Mazzone said De Lille had conveniently omitted the fact that the deadline she referred to is one set by herself when she wanted the DA to submit this affidavit.

“The High Court Uniform Rules provide that an affidavit must be lodged within 20 days. She demanded we submit the affidavit within four court days. We filed within 11 days, well within the limit,” Mazzone said.

Cape Argus