Judge Robert Henney said on Wednesday: “The speaker should be mindful in exercising his discretion to decide on whether the vote will be made by secret ballot on 15 February 2018.”
Henney said that the application by De Lille to have the court decide on the merits of a vote by secret ballot was justified.
Aunty Pat said afterwards she was happy with the ruling: “The speaker must use discretion to have the secret vote or not. People should be allowed to vote with their conscience and that is the victory for today.”
De Lille claimed the DA had instructed the party caucus on how to vote.
She added: “All instructions given to the caucus by the DA is now falling away. I was concerned about the fairness.”
“I came to court to test our own constitution. I came here for councillors to make up their own minds and to decide and have created a space where councillors don’t have to be afraid.”
The court application comes after the DA laid bribery and corruption charges against De Lille and also accused her of misconduct.
DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela welcomed the ruling, saying “the decision to grant a secret ballot remains the prerogative of the City Council, as it should be”.
“The council will consider a motion of no confidence against the Mayor emanating from unhappiness by many caucus members in the City. Councillors are free to vote with their conscience,” he says.
The motion of no confidence against the mayor is due to be heard at the Council Chambers at the Civic Centre at 10am today.