De Lille secret ballot litigation pointless‚ says DA

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

The DA wrote to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Friday asking her to drop her court bid for a secret ballot in Thursday’s no-confidence vote in her leadership.

DA federal executive chairman James Selfe said: “Her application displays a lack of appreciation for the law and the relevant facts‚ as placed on record by the DA.

“The application insists that the members of the DA caucus be allowed to vote on the motion of no-confidence in accordance with their conscience. The DA has already made it clear that this will be the case and that every councillor is free to vote with his or her own conscience.”

Selfe said the question of a secret ballot was for the council to decide. “Until such time that this decision is made and voted on‚ any challenge is premature‚” he said.

The final part of De Lille’s application to the High Court in Cape Town — that the DA federal and provincial executives be interdicted from “influencing” caucus members — had no legal basis and was disingenuous‚ he said.

“Not only has she failed to cite specific officer-bearers she wishes to interdict ... she has failed to acknowledge that the DA has been clear that no threats or disciplinary action will be taken against caucus members regarding their vote‚” said Selfe.

De Lille faces council‚ DA and criminal investigations‚ and the no-confidence vote is expected to end her nearly seven-year reign as mayor‚ making way for DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela to take over.

In a sign of the breakdown in relations between De Lille and the DA leadership‚ Selfe said the party would seek a punitive costs order against the mayor — making her personally responsible for settling legal bills — if she persisted with the “pointless and unfounded litigation”.