Suspended Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is fighting hard for her political career, by filing an urgent application to ensure the upcoming vote of no confidence against her is free and fair.

She wants councillors to vote with their conscience in a secret ballot on February 15. Last week the DA caucus in the Western Cape confirmed that a motion of no confidence would be brought against De Lille.

She is currently facing the toughest time in her political career as the DA prepares to welcome new leadership. She has been mayor of Cape town since 2011.

De Lille stands accused of trying to cover up corruption and also faces a criminal complaint of bribery and has been criticised for her handling of the water crisis.

Taking to Twitter, she said she doesn’t want to avoid a motion of no confidence but wants the assurance that the vote will proceed in a constitutional and fair manner and that DA councillors are bound by caucus decisions and are only allowed a free vote on abortion and the death penalty.

De Lille said the Speaker also does not have the power to order a secret ballot.


She wants to challenge these regulations, saying she believes her supporters want their councillors to be given an opportunity to vote against the motion without fear of being sidelined in the party.

Her reason for approaching the courts is because the DA refused her request for a secret ballot.

Meanwhile, The DA has written to De Lille to invite her to withdraw the application, said the DA’s James Selfe in a statement.

“Her application displays a lack of appreciation for the law and the relevant facts, as placed on record by the DA,” Selfe said. “The application insists that the members of the DA caucus be allowed to vote on the MONC in accordance with their conscience. The DA has already made it clear that this will be the case and that every councillor is free to vote with his or her own conscience.”

Selfe said the DA does not believe it is necessary given that members have the freedom to vote with their consciences. That decision must be made by the council itself, he said. “Until such time that this decision is made and voted on, any challenge is premature.”

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