JOHANNESBURG: The Democratic Alliance has been accused of undermining the rule of law after the announced that the embattled Cape Town City mayor will only act in a ‘ceremonial role’.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who was on Tuesday temporarily restored to her position, says she will appeal to the DA to work together with her in the meantime after the party indicated that her return would be ceremonial.
The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday granted de Lille’s urgent request for the temporary suspension of the DA’s decision to cease her membership, pending a full review of the decision next Friday.
The DA’s Natasha Mazzone released a statement immediately after stating that the court’s decision was not in the best interests of the people of Cape Town, and that governance decisions would in any case be made by the DA caucus in the interim.
Patricia De Lille will now act in only a ceremonial role, with substantive governance decisions to be taken by the DA caucus in the interests of the people of CPT (while #deLille enjoys benefits of a Mayoral Salary at rate-payer expense).
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 15, 2018
The ANC in the Western Cape was critical of Mazzone’s statement that the judgment was “not in the best interests of the City of Cape Town”.
“Ms Mazzone must respect the decision of the court instead of accusing the judge of making a ruling which ‘is not in the best interests’ of ratepayers,” said ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs.
“On the contrary, the DA’s haste in attempting to remove Patricia de Lille as mayor via a shortcut, without following a proper disciplinary process, shows contempt for the rule of law which the DA so often claims to be the champion of.”
He said the ANC maintained that the “desperate trial-and-error” approach to fire De Lille, “looking for loose and thumb-sucked reasons, misunderstood contexts, and underhanded, targeted and abusive party constitutional changes”, would not hold constitutional muster.
He called on Nielson, Mazzone and DA leader Mmusi Maimane to respect the decision of the court.
According to an Independent Political Analyst, Molifi Tshabalala: “Over the years, especially under the Zuma administration, the DA has been portraying itself as a party that respect and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
“Therefore, one would expect the same party to do the same on a de Lille matter – that is to say, respect a court ruling that Patricia de Lille should remain Cape Town mayor and councillor until he matter is fully ventilated in court next week. For the DA to come out and claim that she would occupy the position on a ceremonial basis amounts to a blatant disrespect for the rule of law,” he added.