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De Lille’s review of Steenhuisen report postponed to November

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s application for the review of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) internal report into her conduct has been postponed to November 1.

De Lille wanted to ask the court on Thursday to compel the DA to submit evidence used in to formulate the report, which was compiled by a party subcommittee chaired by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

In January, she was charged with bringing the party into disrepute, refusing to comply with party decisions, undue interference and failing to perform duties and responsibilities.

De Lille told journalists outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday that it had become “very difficult” to defend herself without having access to the evidence.

“The DA has refused to provide the full record, contending that it is not obliged to provide the documents because it was an internal, preliminary investigation by a private body,” she said, citing a DA responding affidavit filed on Wednesday afternoon.

“The DA also claims that the evidence is ‘confidential’.

“This is difficult to understand because the DA constantly and publicly challenges me to deal with the findings of the Steenhuisen report and yet, in the court case, they wish to keep the evidence that the Steenhuisen committee considered a secret.”

‘Insufficient time’

She acknowledged that she was given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, but was “never given the evidence presented to the Steenhuisen subcommittee”, nor the source or context of any of the allegations.

She was also frustrated because the DA only filed its responding affidavit on Wednesday when it was asked to do so by June 18.

“This is less than 24 hours before the matter had to be heard and it was insufficient time for my lawyers to draft my reply thereto and for the judge to read the papers.

“Unfortunately, because of this, the matter will have to be postponed to a later date. I will also have to be moved to the opposed roll to be argued.”

She was hopeful that the party would comply before the new November 1 date, so she could prepare her case, she added.

‘Ready to fight again’

On Wednesday, the High Court set aside the party’s decision to terminate her membership, citing irregularities in its federal legal commission process.

The ruling effectively meant De Lille could return to her position in council, and that her membership was restored.

De Lille added that she was ready to fight a renewed motion of no confidence in her leadership in the council.

“With regards to yesterday’s outcome, I respect the right of the DA to appeal the judgment of the full Bench of the High Court.

“It also seems that the DA is going to pursue another motion of no confidence. I am ready to fight both of these as vigorously as ever before.”

DA deputy federal council chairperson Natasha Mazzone said the party would respond in a statement. ― News24

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