CAPE TOWN, March 22 (ANA) – The disciplinary hearing of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille by her political party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), was adjourned on Thursday following the recusal of a panel member.
De Lille said on Thursday that the party and her lawyers had been engaged in technical arguments since Tuesday, including who should constitute the disciplinary panel. De Lille wanted Advocate Pogiso Monchusi and Sheila Camerer to recuse themselves.
“We have been arguing and went on record to ask for the recusal of two of the panel members since Tuesday. We continued to put it on record again this morning and one of the panel members had then decided to recuse himself, Mr Monchusi,” De Lille told journalists outside Parliament on Thursday.
“And that led now to there not being a full panel to continue with the hearing. They need to find a replacement now for him and then we need to start the whole thing over. We didn’t even get to the request to make this hearing open. We just feel like going straight to court because we don’t know when now the issue of having an open hearing will be agreed on by them.”
According to the DA, Monchusi decided to withdraw from the proceedings before any argument was presented by the party
James Selfe, chairman of the DA’s federal council, said Monchusi withdrew to avoid the risk of delaying the hearing.
“The arguments presented in respect of Ms Sheila Camerer recusing herself were heard by the Panel, but not yet answered by the Party, as a result of Adv Monchusi’s withdrawal. A new third member of the panel will have to be appointed and familiarise themselves with the proceedings before further argument can be presented,” Selfe said in a statement.
“At this stage, it can be stated on the record that Ms Camerer is both a properly and legally qualified practising attorney with many years of experience, and any suggestion that this is not the case is factually incorrect. A further argument in this regard is still to be presented by the Party. The hearing was adjourned in order for a new panel member to be appointed and will proceed at the earliest possible date available to all the parties.”