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The DA’s automatic-cessation clause was “ridiculous and irrational” and threatens freedom of expression and association, the High Court in Cape Town heard on Monday. As Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s battle with the DA continued in court on Monday, her legal representatives said that the party sought to oust her using illegal means. De Lille, whose membership of the DA was terminated in May, launched a two-part court challenge. In part A of her application, De Lille sought to interdict the city from declaring a mayoral vacancy and to retain her party membership pending conclusion of court processes.

In part B, she sought to have the DA clause on “automatic cessation” of party membership declared invalid. She was successful in the first part of her application. The saga has damaged the DA brand amid speculation that some members are considering forming a breakaway organisation ahead of the 2019 elections. Dali Mpofu, for De Lille, argued in court on Monday that the DA soug...

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