Democratic Alliance federal leader Mmusi Maimane has confirmed that the party’s newly adopted recall clause won’t be implemented retrospectively and is therefore unlikely to affect Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille.
The clause which was adopted at the party’s federal congress on Sunday, grants the organisation the power to compel any public representative to be recalled should they lose the confidence of their caucus or party, fail to execute their duties, or bring the party into disrepute.
Following its adoption by congress delegates De Lille released a statement saying she would seek clarity on how the clause would affect her.
“I would like to see a legal interpretation once the party has formally announced the amendment to the constitution,” she said in her statement.
During a briefing following the congress however, Maimane said while the clause was immediately applicable, it would not be applied retrospectively.
“Because it’s in our constitution its applicable immediately. But it’s not retrospective,” Maimane said.
“The clause also strengthens the power of caucuses to say if a caucus has lost confidence in a certain individual that it is the party that can request that the person resign within 48 hours.”
The clause is believed to have been included on the agenda in response to difficulties the party has faced in its pursuit of disciplinary action against De Lille.
While the mayor and those who support her believe there is a push to have her removed from office, the alleged plot has not been successful. De Lille has on multiple occasions, threatened to take legal action against the party if she is treated unfairly. She has already survived a motion intended to remove her from office.