Democratic Alliance federal executive chairperson James Selfe has accused Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille of spreading “alternative facts” to “gain public sympathy”.

Selfe’s utterances on Friday come after De Lille released a statement less than 24 hours earlier, alleging that the DA is attempting to “financially ruin” her by instituting a second disciplinary hearing into her conduct – the first hearing adjourned indefinitely in March.

While Selfe has not said anything of the second disciplinary hearing, referred to as the Joubert Panel, he has told De Lille that if she disagrees with the processes and findings of the first disciplinary panel – known as the Moolman Panel – she can take action other than releasing media statements.

“Ms De Lille is aware of her remedies if she does not agree with the findings of the panel, she knows where to find the high court,” Selfe said in a statement.

On Thursday de Lille had revealed that the Moolman Panel had ruled that the hearing will not be made public. The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions from de Lille’s team and the party.
It found that it was not in line with the DA’s own regulations to have open hearings, and the refusal of a public hearing would not prejudice De Lille. It also stated that a public hearing may disrupt the orderly proceedings.

De Lille has insisted, however, that she be granted a public hearing. Last month, she said she would take the party to court if it did not accede to her demand, and on Friday, Selfe called her bluff in his own statement.

While Selfe said that De Lille had been using “delay tactics” to “frustrate” the disciplinary hearing processes, it is still unclear why the party has instituted two separate hearings into her conduct.

Both the Moolman Panel and the Joubert Panel have been indefinitely postponed.