Democratic Alliance MP and member of the party's executive Natasha Mazzone says she is confident of a legal victory should a dispute over her position be dragged to the courts.
Mazzone was appointed as the party's second deputy federal chairperson during its Federal Congress earlier this year in an election that raised the ire of other DA members vying for the same position. Some members of the party said the process of Mazzone's election was procedurally flawed in her favour.
City Press reported at the weekend that a legal opinion obtained by Gauteng South DA chairperson Khume Ramulifho, who contested for the same position, found errors in Mazzone's appointment. Ramulifho is reportedly threatening court action.
In an interview with HuffPost on Monday, Mazzone said she stood by the process by which she was appointed.
" The internal DA row over the new post of second deputy chair of its federal council has deepened, with Gauteng MPL Khume Ramulifho (not pictured) obtaining a legal opinion that MP Natasha Mazzone should not have been given the job." pic.twitter.com/xo8XnkKwIP— Gregory Harington (@AskGregory) June 4, 2018
"Take yourself back to actually what happened at the Federal Council. Federal Councill sat on the Friday before we went to Congress and agreed to the fact that there would be two deputy chairpersons if the Congress agreed to that amendment," she said.
"And everyone agreed in that Federal Counsel that that's what would happen. And it was agreed upon and it was understood. Also, when the initial memorandum went out calling for nominations for the deputy chairperson, it was very clear. It said the chairperson of Federal Counsel calls for nominations for deputy chairperson and then in brackets it said it must be noted that an amendment will be brought forward to allow for two deputies."
Mazzone said she was confident of a legal victory should the matter be taken to court.
The DA's Gauteng MPL Khume Ramulifho associated to the group known as the black caucus, which pushes for transformation in the DA threatens legal action after the DA elevated Natasha Mazzone to a 2nd Deputy Federal Chairperson without election being held for the particular post👀 pic.twitter.com/6Ouucvwhwm— LesetjaMO (@MoLesetja) April 15, 2018
"It was very clear from the onset that you were campaigning for one of two positions and if you look at any of our campaign material, you will see that all of us campaigned saying please make me either your number one or your number two choice for deputy chair of Federal Council," she said.
"I am confident [of a legal win]. An agreement was reached between Ramulifho, James Selfe [DA federal chairperson], Glynnis Breytenbach [DA legal commission chairperson] and myself that once the party had received a legal opinion by an independent senior counsel, that we would abide by that ruling. That ruling has now come through and I abide by that ruling."
Mazzone would not provide information on the ruling, saying it would be discussed by the DA's executive at its next meeting.
"Ramulifho went on his own volition and got his own legal opinion, and let's be honest, a legal opinion is just that - it is the opinion of a person," she said.