Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: BUSINESS TIMES
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: BUSINESS TIMES

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday she felt vindicated after a judge ruled in her favour on the eve of a no-confidence vote.

De Lille took the DA to the High Court in Cape Town‚ asking for an order instructing City of Cape Town speaker Dirk Smit to ensure that councillors could vote with their conscience on Thursday.

"So my lawyers will now write to the speaker and say to him‚ ‘the court said you must use your discretion whether you must have a secret vote and then consider the conditions under which this decision must be made’," De Lille said of Judge Robert Henney’s decision.

She said the court confirmed that she was justified in taking legal action against her party.

"It was not until the night before the court date that the DA seemed to have changed their mind. Before that they were of the opinion that they can instruct the caucus what to do. The court has now said that the speaker must use [his] discretion."

De Lille went to court after being tipped off by Suzette Little‚ chairman of the DA caucus in the city council‚ that DA federal executive chairman James Selfe "was of the opinion that in terms of the DA’s constitution all caucus members are bound by the caucus decision [to support the motion of no confidence]‚ even those who did not vote for it".

The mayor faces council‚ party and criminal investigations into alleged misconduct and she has alleged that the DA wants to remove her as mayor so it can appoint provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela in her place.

The motion to be debated on Thursday was proposed by councillor Malusi Booi.

It says: "The DA caucus in the City of Cape Town has lost confidence in Alderman P de Lille to lead the city and perform the functions of mayor.

"During the last year numerous events have happened that caused harm to the good reputation of the City of Cape Town‚ and its record of good governance achieved over the last decade has been compromised.

"This council must now act to recover its reputation.

"The actions of the mayor in proposing an alteration of the water tariffs at the previous full council meeting was financially reckless‚ she is implicated by the Bowman Gilfillan report and the statements of the city manager which exposed a tolerance for corruption and maladministration which cannot be condoned and was the cause for the city to experience its first qualified audit under this political administration since 2006."