DA ‘deny­ing De Lille right to hear­ing’

The Witness - - NEWS - — News24.

CAPE TOWN — The DA is us­ing a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against Cape Town Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille to avoid hold­ing dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings against her, Ad­vo­cate Dali Mpofu, SC, told the West­ern Cape High Court yes­ter­day.

“They want to get rid of her, but they want to get rid of her with­out af­ford­ing her the rights of a hear­ing and dis­ci­plinary process,” said Mpofu, who is ap­ply­ing for the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence to be held by se­cret bal­lot.

“They [the DA] want to get rid of her by ma­nip­u­lat­ing the rules of coun­cil.”

How­ever, De Lille is not against to­mor­row’s mo­tion of no con­fi­dence, said Mpofu. She merely wants the vote on it to be held through a se­cret bal­lot so that mem­bers can vote “ac­cord­ing to their con­science” and not just do what the DA tells them to do.

She wants them to be free from reprisal should they not take the usual party cau­cus line.

Mpofu is lead­ing the charge in the high court, a se­quel to a sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tion to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court last year by the UDM and sup­ported by the DA, for a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to be held by se­cret bal­lot.

In that case, the court said it could not tell Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete what to do, but con­firmed that she did have the right to de­cide whether to hold a se­cret bal­lot vote or not.

Mpofu said the DA had since in­di­cated that it was not op­posed to DA coun­cil­lors vot­ing freely, in­stead of as in­structed by their cau­cus, but the party did not see the point of hold­ing the vote in se­cret.

Mpofu said it was also not clear whether the party’s new stance — that coun­cil­lors could vote freely — had been com­mu­ni­cated to the DA coun­cil­lors.

He said the coun­cil­lors had no obli­ga­tion to vote ac­cord­ing to what the DA told them, be­cause their oath of of­fice is to serve the pub­lic, not the party.

Mpofu said that to make coun­cil­lors vote openly on such a sen­si­tive mat­ter was “sui­cide” for the coun­cil­lors con­cerned.

How­ever, Judge Robert Hen­ney cut in and asked why they were all in court if the DA had de­cided to let its coun­cil­lors have a “free vote” in­stead of fol­low­ing the party line.

Mpofu said the prob­lem was that the party had al­ready said it did not think that a se­cret vote was nec­es­sary, so even sug­gest­ing one in coun­cil ahead of the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence could be a risk to a coun­cil­lor’s po­si­tion.

The judge said he would give his rul­ing at 2 pm to­day.

PHOTO: JACO MARAIS

Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille greets sup­port­ers out­side the high court yes­ter­day.

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