De Lille disciplinary hearing delayed over ‘technicalities’

A disciplinary hearing has yet to officially begin against Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, because her legal team is questioning if the Democratic Alliance (DA) followed due process in bringing a hearing against her.

De Lille spoke to journalists on the Parliamentary precinct on Tuesday, saying that “technicalities” had delayed the process.

In the morning, de Lille’s legal team raised questions about the DA constitution, she said, and if the party had followed procedure when it announced she would be facing its disciplinary committee. 

De Lille made the statement after the committee adjourned for lunch, and said that the DA’s legal team would present their arguments after the break.

“After they resolve the technical queries, will they then constitute the hearing officially,” she said.

“On the technicalities, it’s process, It’s how was the panel appointed for instance, can some panel members play dual roles… they have to resolve that before we can constitute the hearing,” she said.

De Lille is also demanding that a member of the disciplinary panel, Sheila Camerer, an apartheid-era justice minister who implemented apartheid law, to be recused.

In a statement over the weekend de Lille explained why she wants Camerer recused: “We will ask for Camerer to recuse herself. Apart from her past, she is neither competent nor suitable to hear the matter. To the best of my knowledge she hasn’t practised law in decades and she is a known political opponent. Nevertheless, I will appear at the hearing on Tuesday and look forward to having the allegations against me properly tested.”

The disciplinary panel is chaired by lokwe councillor Hans-Jurie Moolman, and , as de Lille alleges, “his friend and fellow councillor” Pogiso Monchusi.

After an arguments conclude on the due process issue, de Lille’s team will raise the recusal matter. They will also demand that the hearing is made open to the public and the media.

Federal Executive chair James Selfe has said its normal procedure for internal party hearings to be closed, but de Lille has insisted that as Cape Town mayor, her constituents have a right to witness the proceedings.

She repeated her statement from Monday that if an open hearing is refused, her team will ask for a postponement and file a court application.

The mayor has yet to speak inside the meeting in Parliament, she said, but the matter will continue this afternoon.

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Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

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