DA to overhaul its legal commission at weekend meeting
The DA will reconstitute its federal legal commission (FLC), which acts as the party’s disciplinary committee, at a federal council meeting to be held at the weekend.
This could result in the party having to review some of its recent decisions.
The federal council is the party’s highest decision making structure between congresses.
The weekend meeting comes after the High Court in Cape Town declared the federal legal commission to be improperly constituted in terms of the DA’s constitution.
The issue formed part of a judgment that set aside Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s dismissal from the party on the grounds that it was unprocedural and inconsistent with the party’s constitution.
The judgment opened up the possibility that all decisions taken by the federal legal commission, chaired by former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, could be subject to review.
The commission has existed since 2015, and has, among other things, dealt with matters involving Dianne Kohler-Barnard and Helen Zille.
De Lille’s own disciplinary hearing, which is the most prominent that the DA has on its cards, is yet to take place as the court battle between the embattled mayor and the DA is ongoing. The party indicated that it would appeal the judgment.
DA federal council chairman James Selfe confirmed that the reconstitution of the commission was on the agenda for this weekend’s meeting.
He said the federal executive, and the chairman and deputy chairman of the federal legal commission conferred and came up with a list of 60 recommended members, of which 30 must be legally qualified. He said the conferral had taken place and that the federal executive had approved it.
Having already been approved by the federal executive, the list would now be presented to the federal council for adoption.
Selfe said the question was how to deal with matters that earlier were referred to the federal legal commission.
He said complex issues before a commission’s panel would be referred to a new panel. But the question of issues that had already been considered and agreed on was more difficult to address.
"Presumably you would deal with them on a case-by-case basis," Selfe said.
Turning to De Lille’s case, he said the issue was already before a panel, but the panel would have to be reconstituted.