Natasha Mazzone. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Natasha Mazzone. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

The DA has confirmed Natasha Mazzone's election as the DA's deputy federal council chairperson following a dispute over her election.

The party's federal executive had a meeting this weekend in which it had addressed, among others, two conflicting legal opinions on her election.

John Moodey, DA Gauteng leader, said during a media briefing on Saturday afternoon that the federal executive had decided that it would confirm  an opinion by its federal legal commission which was supported by the legal opinion of Michael Hellens SC, as well as its attorneys on the matter.

"Natasha Mazzone’s election As deputy federal council chair has been confirmed by the federal executive of this weekend," Moodey said. 

Mazzone was elected to the position at the DA Federal Congress in Tshwane earlier this year, but her election has been disputed by former DA Johannesburg regional chair Khume Ramulifho, who also stood for the position.

A legal opinion sought by Ramulifho on her election from Adv JL Kaplan advised that Mazzone’s appointment to the position was invalid and had no force or effect.

The legal opinion from Hellens said Mazzone’s election was legal and valid.

The dispute revolved around the fact voting for the position took place before the party's Constitution was amended to provide for two deputies to federal council chairman James Selfe. The congress had also resolved that voting for the position should take place at the first meeting of its federal council.

Ramulifho had argued that congress was the DA's highest decision making body, and that its decision could not be overruled by the party's lower structures.

Moodey said he and Gauteng chairman Mike Moriarty has been mandated to sit down with Ramulifho and explain the reasons behind the federal executive's decision. Moodey did not elaborate on the reasons.

"We hope and trust that the matter will be out to rest once and for all," Moodey said.