De Lille: ‘DA must pay more than R1m for my legal fees’

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says the Democratic Alliance will have to pay more than R1-million of her legal fees, after the Western Cape High Court awarded costs during her review of the party’s decision to cancel her membership.

The High Court on Wednesday set aside the DA’s “unlawful” determination that De Lille had ceased to be a party member following comments she made on radio, with costs.

The parties had appeared in court on three occasions to argue the merits of her removal since May.

Outside court on Thursday, De Lille revealed to journalists what it had cost her to review the party’s decision to axe her.

“For all the three court cases now, the court has awarded costs, that the DA must pay all costs. It’s way over a million rand already. So the DA has to pay all my legal costs.

READ MORE: She’s back — De Lille triumphs over DA

“I have made an investment myself personally, because for me, my name, my integrity, my reputation is priceless. Therefore, I made the investment, but now the money will come back because the DA must pay for all those cases.”

DA deputy federal council chairperson Natasha Mazzone was not immediately available to comment on the amount.

Talking ‘absolutely nonsense’

De Lille also responded to the party’s claim on Wednesday that, since she was removed from handling the city’s water crisis, they were able to avert Day Zero.

“They [are] talking absolute nonsense. I was responsible from 2016 to bring Cape Town’s water consumption down from 1.1 billion litres per day to just under 500 million litres per day, and everybody knows that,” she claimed.

The DA said in a statement on Wednesday, following the court ruling, that De Lille’s removal from drought and water management had “allowed the City — along with the residents who continue to save this precious resource — to push back Day Zero for 2018 and 2019.

“Removing her has allowed the officials to do everything possible to save and augment water and plan in a rational and evidence-based manner,” said Mazzone.

The City of Cape Town on Thursday again announced that “Day Zero” — the day when most of the taps will be turned off – would not happen in 2018 or 2019.

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said that dam levels had risen consistently over the past six weeks and the City was already in a much stronger position than it was at the end of winter last year.

Steenhuisen report review postponed

De Lille was outside court on Thursday for a separate matter in her ongoing battle with her party — the review of an internal party report into her conduct.

She intended to ask the court to compel the DA to submit the evidence used in formulating the report, compiled by a party subcommittee chaired by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

The case, however, was postponed again to November 1, with De Lille again expressing her frustration that the DA deemed the evidence “confidential”.

De Lille will ask the court again to compel the DA to submit the evidence so that she “can defend herself”, and hopes the party will comply before the November date. — News 24

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