Patricia de Lille at the High Court in Cape Town on Tuesday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Patricia de Lille at the High Court in Cape Town on Tuesday. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

The High Court in Cape Town has ruled that Patricia de Lille should retain her DA membership pending the conclusion of her review application to challenge the DA’s “automatic cessation clause”.

The ruling means De Lille will retain her position as mayor pending the finalisation of the court processes.

The court stated that it would be in the best interests of the people of Cape Town for the status quo to remain.

De Lille had approached the court to challenge the DA’s decision to rescind her membership based on an interview she gave to 702, during which she said she would leave the party after clearing her name. 

The ousted Cape Town mayor wanted the court to restore her membership pending an application to review and set aside the DA’s “automatic cessation clause”, which states that states that membership ceases once a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign and/or publicly resigns.

The review application will be heard on May 25.​

Tuesday's court decision came exactly a week after the DA announced that De Lille was no longer a party member‚ as a result of comments she had made in a radio interview.

Judge Patrick Gamble‚ who heard De Lille’s case with Judge Monde Samela‚ said: “We are genuinely concerned for the harm her loss of office has for the people of Cape Town. The city has lost the services of its first citizen and members of the mayoral committee.”

He warned that any other decision in De Lille’s application for an urgent interdict returning her to the mayor’s office‚ risked “a veritable case of musical chairs in the mayoral parlour”.