The DA has been accused of subverting democracy by allowing party leader Mmusi Maimane to take political control over the water crisis in Cape Town.
Constitutional law expert Pierre De Vos says Maimane's takeover undermines constitutional structures.
Maimane says he will establish a drought crisis team for the City of Cape Town, which is led by DA government.
De Vos insists that this move conflates the party and the State, which is very dangerous in principle, no matter the circumstance.
Meanwhile, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen has accused De Vos of being melodramatic.
Steenhuisen maintains that Maimane has not taken over the city council or provincial government.
He claims Maimane is ensuring that the DA office bearers in the Cape are held accountable.
Steenhuisen explains that the city council voted that De Lille should step back, and not Maimane.
The leader of a political party, who is not a member of the city council or the provincial executive, has said that he's taking political control of the water crisis in Cape Town.— Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert
He [Maimane] has instructed the DA government in the city and has appointed a drought crisis team which is coordinating the DA city's response.— Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert
That is a political party creating a political structure completely outside of the constitutional system. That's conflating the party and the State.— Pierre de Vos, Constitutional law expert
Maimane has not taken over the city council or the provincial government.— John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament
Maimane is holding the political principals, the mayor and premier - who are DA members - accountable.— John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament
As head of the DA, Maimane has to hold public representatives accountable.— John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament
Read de Vos' full opinion on his blog, Constitutionally Speaking.
Take a listen to the dynamic debate: