De Lille on DA's use of 'recall clause': 'If I must, I will go to court'

2018-04-25 18:49
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she would be prepared to go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the DA's new "recall clause", if the party's bid to oust her is successful.

De Lille spoke to journalists just before the party's special, internal caucus meeting held on Wednesday in the City of Cape Town council chamber. The meeting was closed to the public.

The embattled mayor believed that the way the party has brought in its so-called "recall clause" at its April 7 federal congress in Tshwane, and the way in which it was used against her so quickly, was questionable.

READ: 'I fear no one but my God' – De Lille ahead of internal DA motion against her

"I feel the clause is unconstitutional, in terms of our country's constitution of natural justice and in terms of the protection for public representations in our country's Constitution.

"Those days are long over, where people or government were impatient to follow due process.

"Therefore, if I must, and it comes to the push, and I'm not successful in my explanations to the federal executive and they say I must go, I will certainly take it to court and have it tested."

She said she wasn't doing it just for herself, but for all other public representatives in the DA.

"It's a first for all other public representatives in the DA. Today it's me, tomorrow it could be Premier Helen Zille," she said.

"Tomorrow it could be any other mayor, Solly Msimanga or Herman Mashaba, where people are already starting to mobilise also.

"I don't mind to test this, even if it means going to the highest court (the Constitutional Court) to protect other public representatives in the DA."

De Lille indicated she would attend the special caucus meeting to hear what councillors had to say and ask questions about the party's rationale.

She maintained that the party's application of the clause against her retrospectively, undermined her disciplinary proceedings and gave her even less chance to publicly clear her name of the allegations against her.

In the event of a successful motion, De Lille will not be automatically removed as mayor.

READ: DA looking for shortcut to get rid of me - De Lille

The process will be referred to the federal executive, which will then ask De Lille to make representations to defend herself.

The DA's special caucus began at 17:15 on Wednesday, following the adjournment of the broader Cape Town council.

Members of the media were waiting behind the glass doors while DA councillors debated their agenda.

Security was strict outside the council chamber, with at least two officials coming outside to demand that journalists no longer take pictures while DA councillors debated.

Deputy caucus leader JP Smith told journalists at lunch time on Wednesday that the process could take between two and three hours.

Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  politics

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