Dali Mpofu, acting for Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, argues in the high court that the recently adopted clause in the DA constitution used to strip his client of her membership was unlawful and inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic.
“The conduct, in particular of the DA, was wholly premised on bad faith, mala fides, was unreasonable, and it offends some of the broad brush values that should characterise our [the country’s] constitutional dispensation,” said Mpofu.
He argued the DA could legally use two methods to remove her from her position – either do it through a motion of no confidence or institute disciplinary proceedings.
In February, De Lille survived a motion of no confidence in council. The party had instituted disciplinary proceedings against her, but abandoned them when they used the new clause to strip her of her membership after she told a radio talk show host that she would leave the DA once her name was cleared.
A clause in the DA constitution states that one ceases to be a DA member once one publicly declares an intention to leave the party.
De Lille does not dispute the contents of the interview. However, her legal team contends the manner in which the interview was interpreted was wrong.
Mpofu argued the DA could not remove De Lille through a no-confidence vote or a disciplinary, and therefore invoked a clause specifically adopted at the DA’s conference in April to remove her.
“The reason why we say this is really based on mala fides and an attempt really to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, the court, herself because those two methods [to remove her from office] have been tried, and they both failed for various reasons.”
Last month, De Lille won round one of her court battle after she was temporarily reinstated as mayor until the court makes a final determination on the legality of her removal.