De Lille to seek legal advice after DA approves 'recall clause'

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille (File, Netwerk24)

Embattled Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says she will seek legal advice in terms of the Democratic Alliance's newly approved "recall clause", which was agreed to at its federal congress in Tshwane.

DA delegates at its federal congress on Sunday agreed to amend the party's constitution to include a "recall clause" for members appointed or elected to executive posts.

A recall could apply to presidents, premiers, mayors or any other public DA representative in an executive post who has, in the course of their work, lost the confidence of their caucus.

De Lille told News24 on Sunday that she needed clarity on whether the clause could be applied retrospectively, but in her mind, she is continuing with her fight to clear her name.

"I would like to seek a legal interpretation once the party has formally announced the amendment to the constitution.

"I am proceeding with all the things that I'm busy with. There is still a high court case pending that the so-called Steenhuisen report be reviewed.

"So my current dispute with the party will be proceeding."

The Western Cape High Court is due in May to rule on De Lille's application to set aside the report against her compiled by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

The report made findings against De Lille based on interviews with DA councillors in the City of Cape Town council. Her legal team argued that she was not given the chance to make representations on the report.

She is also currently locked in a disciplinary process with the DA’s federal legal commission, which was postponed indefinitely last month after one of the chairpersons recused himself.

The mayor jokingly brushed aside the latest development, saying she once had a bill in Parliament "where they tried to kick me out, and now there is another De Lille clause," she said tongue-in-cheek.

Her fight right now ultimately is just about clearing her name and her reputation.

"My name has been smeared in public and I believe it must be cleared in public. I'm not married to any position, but I need to clear my name.

"Integrity is something none of us can buy. These accusations by the DA, that I'm corrupt and I'm covered in corruption, everyone in this country knows I've been fighting corruption all my life."

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe told News24 in Tshwane on Sunday that the clause cannot be applied to De Lille retrospectively.

Her disciplinary process will therefore continue.

However, if the City of Cape Town's DA caucus lobbies a fresh motion of no confidence in De Lille, the Federal Executive could then consider the matter based on the new rules, he said.

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