Patricia De Lille Collapses Disciplinary Hearing

PICTURE: SA People

CAPE TOWN: The disciplinary panel now has to be reconstituted, at a yet to be determined date, after she objected to two of its three members.

The embattled Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille, has won another round of her five-month-long battle with the Democratic Alliance (DA), which has accused her of bringing the party into disrepute.

James Selfe, the chairperson of the DA federal council, confirmed on Thursday that the disciplinary hearing against De Lille had been adjourned after one of the panel members Advocate Pogiso Monchusi, “decided to withdraw from the proceedings”.  The Mayor had objected to Monchusi arguing that he was not an appropriate candidate to sit on the disciplinary panel. It is not clear exactly what the objection entailed.

However, De Lille said only: “We requested it (his recusal) and gave them information as to why he is not a fit and proper person.”

Prior to the sitting of the panel – which started on Tuesday and continued today, Thursday, De Lille objected to another panellist – former National Party MP and later DA MP Sheila Camerer. De Lille described her as an apartheid-era politician and argued that she, too, was an inappropriate person to sit on the panel.

De Lille said that in addition to Camerer’s dodgy past as a deputy minister – she served under FW de Klerk’s last National Party administration – and also was the NP nominee in the Mandela executive as deputy minister after 1994. “She is also chairperson of the Constantia Ratepayers’ Association… which writes a lot of nonsense about us,” said De Lille in an interview after the disbanded hearing. De Lille said the party should remove Camerer so as not to derail the next sitting of the panel.

[READ]: DA Postpones De Lille Disciplinary Hearing

Selfe said today that “this (postponement) should in no way be construed as an admission of any wrongdoing on the part of Adv Monchusi, as he made it clear that he was withdrawing solely to avoid any potential risk to the proceedings, subsequent to arguments being presented by Ms De Lille’s legal representative with regard to a recusal application.

“Adv Monchusi chose to withdraw even before any argument was presented by the party, in what was clearly a decision to not unnecessarily risk a delay in proceedings at a future date,” said Selfe.

“The arguments presented in respect of Sheila Camerer recusing herself were heard by the panel, but not yet answered by the party, as a result of Adv Monchusi’s withdrawal,” Selfe added. 

The federal council chairperson said a new third member of the panel would have to be appointed “and familiarise themselves with the proceedings” before further argument can be presented. “At this stage, it can be stated on the record that Ms Camerer is both a properly and legally qualified practising attorney with many years of experience, and any suggestion that this is not the case is factually incorrect. A further argument in this regard is still to be presented by the (DA) party.”

He said the hearing – which was to have sat until Friday – was adjourned in order for a new panel member to be appointed, and will proceed at the earliest possible date available to all the parties.

Selfe previously reported that Hans-Jurie Moolman, the chair, was a practicising attorney.