De Lille disciplinary postponed indefinitely

Cape Town - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Thursday that she was frustrated that her disciplinary hearing was postponed indefinitely after a panelist recused himself.De Lille's legal team had argued for panel members Pogiso Monchusi and Sheila Camerer to be removed.

Monchusi – a practising advocate – acceded to this request. This meant that there was no longer a full panel to hear the charges facing De Lille.

De Lille has been accused of contravening the DA’s federal constitution, amid claims of misconduct.The DA will now have to find a replacement.

“It is a waste of time. It is costly for me – I have to pay my lawyers,” De Lille said after the hearing was adjourned.

She would not give details as to why she wanted Monchusi removed, saying it was “our point of view that he is not a fit and proper person”.

On her bid to have Camerer removed, De Lille said she and her team were still waiting for the chairperson to respond to their request, after they had put “all the reasons on the table”. DA federal council chairperson James Selfe said Monchusi had decided to withdraw to prevent any possible conflict of interest, or risk. “He chose to withdraw on his own volition. He did not provide any reasons, but he believed that rather than cause any further delays in the proceedings, he was rather going to withdraw,” he said.

“The arguments around the recusal of Ms Camerer were heard, but not yet answered. Ms Camerer … is a very experienced, long-practicing attorney. She was a deputy minister of justice in President (Nelson) Mandela’s government and we have absolutely no doubt that she is a fit and proper person to serve on the panel.”He said both parties had stated that they wanted to “get this over and done with” as soon as possible.

“Ms De Lille wants to clear her name, the party wants to… get on with the business of winning votes.”

Meanwhile, the matter of whether the hearings will be open is yet to be argued.

De Lille said, however, she “just felt like going straight to court”.Selfe, in turn, said the DA “doesn’t have a particular problem” with proceedings being open.

“We accept that there are arguments both in favour of a closed session and an open session in view of the public interest in this case. In the end, that decision will have to be taken by the panel. It’s not a decision that the party [takes].” DM


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