The decision to hold a motion of no confidence in Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille by secret ballot is up to the Speaker of the City of Cape Town's council, the Western Cape High Court has ruled.
De Lille had filed an urgent application to have a motion of no confidence in her held by secret ballot.
But Judge Robert Henney ordered that the Speaker exercise his discretion and decide whether the motion of no confidence should be conducted by secret ballot.
He also ordered that the Democratic Alliance (DA) tell its members that they are free to vote in line with their consciences.
De Lille had filed papers to the High Court last Thursday, February 8, demanding that her fellow DA members in the council caucus be able to vote as they choose through a secret ballot, in case of reprisals.
De Lille is set to face the motion at a special council meeting on Thursday, February 15.
Last month, the federal executive authorised its caucus to table a motion of no confidence against De Lille in the council, following allegations of maladministration against her.
If the motion passes, De Lille will have to resign, and the mayoral committee which she appointed will also be dissolved. A new mayor must then be elected within 14 days.
The African National Congress in the council had previously tabled a motion of no confidence in De Lille, but later withdrew it.