Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has called upon Advocate Dali Mpofu to lead her legal team ahead of her fight against the Democratic Alliance (DA).
De Lille is currently engaged in a bitter fight with the party in a bid to hang on to her seat as mayor and is facing a motion of no confidence from the city council.
In a statement released on Friday, she reveals that she approached the Western Cape High Court to request that the vote be in the form of a secret ballot to allow councillors to vote “according to their conscience”.
“It seems that the Backroom Boys Club are so pre-occupied with bullying tactics that they fail to see the hypocrisy between this matter and when the DA fought for a secret ballot along with the UDM with the motion of no confidence into President Jacob Zuma,” De Lille said.
“In order to ensure consistency, we are using the same legal counsel to ensure that the same legal principle is tested.”
De Lille also alleges that she had been intimidated in an effort to discourage her from pursuing the matter in the courts but vowed to go ahead.
“We are confident about our case and we are going to court,” she says.
“The DA has said that councillors are free to vote with their conscience yet they refuse a secret vote. A vote can never be free unless it is a secret. This is a fundamental principle of our democracy.”
She went on to add that the reason she is requesting a secret vote is because of fears expressed to her by councillors who are worried of the after effects of not supporting the motion.
“They should not be subjected to political intimidation,” De Lille adds.
“Unfortunately, the DA leadership is more concerned with jostling for positions instead of giving councillors the proper assurance that they will not face any adverse consequences.”
De Lille is facing a slew of allegations from the DA including nepotism and abuse of power.
The court is set to hear her request for the secret vote on Tuesday 13 February.