De Lille hires Dali Mpofu as she takes on DA's 'backroom boys' for secret ballot

2018-02-09 17:40
Dali Mpofu. (File: City Press)

Dali Mpofu. (File: City Press)

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Cape Town - Embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille has appointed Dali Mpofu SC to represent her in her court bid to force the "backroom boys" of the DA to allow a motion of no confidence in her to take place by secret ballot.

"The matter of the urgent application which I launched out of the Western Cape High Court in relation to the vote for the motion of no confidence in me, will be heard on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 10:00," said De Lille, in defiance of a party ultimatum that she withdraw her court action by 15:00 on Friday.

"My legal team will be led by Advocate Dali Mpofu SC," she announced.

READ: De Lille files urgent application over motion of no confidence against her

Mpofu had argued for the United Democratic Movement (UDM) at the Constitutional Court last year in a similar application relating to a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.

In that case, supported by the DA, the court said it could not force the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to hold a motion of no confidence vote in Zuma, but confirmed that was allowed to decide whether it was held by secret ballot.

"Why can it be a secret vote for Zuma and not for me?" she asked.

The Speaker for the City of Cape Town council Dirk Smit is seeking legal advice over whether to hold it by secret ballot.

De Lille announced on Thursday that she had launched her court application to allow members of the DA caucus in the council to vote "according to their conscience" and by secret ballot for or against the motion of no confidence in her.

This was after some people had told her they were afraid of reprisals by the party if they defied caucus instructions.

READ: De Lille no confidence vote set for February 15

A caucus is a group of politicians from the same party.

"It seems that the Backroom Boys Club are so pre-occupied with bullying tactics that they fail to see the hypocrisy between this matter and when the DA fought for a secret ballot along with the UDM with the motion of no confidence into President Jacob Zuma.

"In order to ensure consistency, we are using the same legal counsel to ensure that the same legal principle is tested."

She said that a letter was written to DA caucus chair Suzette Little on February 6, asking that caucus commits itself to a free vote.

'Only the court can ensure fairness'

De Lille said that Little responded to say that DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe advised: "All caucus members are bound by the caucus decision, even those who did not vote on that day. This is a majority decision and that is what the caucus is bound to."

She did not understand why Selfe thinks she is being "misguided" and "vexatious" over the caucus instruction, because he issued it.

"There have been attempts to intimidate me and asking me to withdraw the matter but I am going ahead because at this stage only the court can ensure fairness."

De Lille is facing allegations of corruption, which she has denied.

She was taken off communication relating to the city's Day Zero crisis.

Comment was not immediately available from Mpofu, who is also the chairperson of another opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Read more on:    da  |  dali mpofu  |  patricia de lille

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