Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The DA on Tuesday said the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) had “overreached" itself by ordering the party to apologise to former Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille for spreading false information about her.

The party was found to have violated the IEC’s electoral code of conduct after it spread false information about De Lille, who it said was fired from her job as mayor. De Lille resigned.

De Lille and the DA were embroiled in a protracted battle in which the party attempted to have her removed from office. The tiff culminated in De Lille agreeing to resign from the party. The decision was announced at a joint press conference with DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

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The DA later claimed she was fired in its tele-canvassing for the elections.  

De Lille won the battle on Tuesday after the IEC ordered the DA to make a public apology to her.

“I am very grateful to the IEC that investigated my complaint against the DA for spreading lies using their tele-canvassers to phone thousands of people with lies about me,” De Lille said in a video published on social media.

Mike Moriarty, the DA’s representative at the IEC however said on Tuesday evening that the party did not agree with the IEC’s decision.

“We think that they have overreached themselves,” Moriarty said.

He said the IEC was entitled to investigate, but that the application of a remedy was for a court to decide.

He said the party’s problem was not with De Lille,  who formed her own party called GOOD after leaving the DA, but with the IEC’s "inconsistency" in dealing with complaints.

He said they had referred the issue to their lawyers and that they expected a legal opinion from senior counsel on the matter.

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