DA's ousting of De Lille wholly disproportional - Adv Johan de Waal SC

Mayor's other counsel, Adv Dali Mpofu SC, says party trying to have it both ways

DA takes centre stage in court as it argues merits of De Lille's removal

5 June 2018

The Democratic Alliance is expected to have its chance to argue the full merits of its decision to remove Patricia de Lille as a member of the party when the case returns to court on Tuesday.

However, De Lille's counsel is first expected to wrap up his argument.

The Cape Town mayor's lawyers had all of Monday to make her case in her bid to review the DA's decision to strip her of her party membership, based on comments she had made during a radio interview in late April.

On Tuesday, Sean Rosenberg, SC, for the DA, is expected to argue the party's case after Johan de Waal, SC, for De Lille, wraps his final 30 minutes of submissions. It is the final day of arguments in the court tussle.

During Part A of De Lille's application for urgent relief heard three weeks ago, Rosenberg highlighted that De Lille's comments during the radio interview in question represented a clear intention to leave the DA.

The DA federal executive's decision over the cessation of her membership was therefore not so much a "decision" as it was a "determination", ratifying what De Lille herself had already put into motion on the date she made the comments.

De Lille, a long-standing member of the party, would have been aware of the contract between herself and the party upon joining, bound by the various clauses in the DA's constitution, including the clause used to remove her, he said at the time.

He will also counter the various points of argument raised against the procedures the DA leadership employed, through federal council chairperson James Selfe, that ratified De Lille's exit from both the party and the Cape Town city council.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Dali Mpofu, SC argued on De Lille's behalf that her ousting was unconstitutional, inconsistent and in bad faith, and that the DA was "trying to have it both ways" when it came to removing her.

Her second advocate, Johan de Waal, SC, criticised the DA's decision, which had such large-scale implications for both De Lille and the City of Cape Town, over comments made on a radio station that were clearly "conditional".

De Waal labelled the decision "totally disproportionate" and a "total overreaction".

Proceedings are expected to start at 10:00.