The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday requested embattled Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to withdraw an application she brought before the Western Cape High Court, seeking a secret ballot during a motion of no confidence vote against her.
In court papers De Lille said a secret ballot would ensure that members of the DA Caucus could vote against the motion on Thursday next week, without any fear of being side-lined by the party.
On Friday the DA threatened that should De Lille persist with her application, the party would seek a punitive costs award for "abusing the court's process with pointless and unfounded" litigation.
In a statement, DA Federal Council Chairperson, James Selfe said that her application displayed a lack of appreciation for the law and the relevant facts.
"The application insists that the members of the DA Caucus be allowed to vote on the motion of no confidence 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."
On the matter of a secret ballot, Selfe said that the DA did not believe it was necessary.
"Given that members have the freedom to vote with their consciences, the decision on this matter must be made by the Council itself. Until such time that this decision is made and voted on, any challenge is premature."
Selfe said that it was without legal basis and disingenuous, citing de Lille's application, that the DA federal and provincial executive be interdicted from influencing Caucus members.
"Not only has she has failed to cite specific office bearers she wishes to interdict, making her prayer unsustainable, she has failed to acknowledge that the DA has been clear that no threats or disciplinary action will be taken against Caucus members regarding their vote."