Mounting calls for ANC MPL accused of fraud to resign after court appearance
Cape Town - Calls are mounting for fraud and corruption accused provincial ANC local government spokesperson Danville Smith to resign after his recent appearance in the Bellville specialised commercial crimes court.
Smith’s court date came in the wake of a long running Hawks investigation into irregularities at the Cederberg municipality where he served as Speaker until 2016. The investigation report alleges that Smith was involved in various corruption scandals, but Smith has denied the allegations.
Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said: “The investigation is still ongoing. The matter has been remanded to May 19, 2021. Smith has been released on a warning.”
Smith said: “This matter is in the public now after it was leaked by an opportunist in a deliberate attempt to damage my character. Meanwhile, this case will give me the ideal opportunity to clear my name.”
DA West Region chairperson Koos Steyn said: “We support the calls for Smith to step down because of the allegations relating to the mismanagement of municipal resources during his term as Speaker of the Cederberg Municipality.
“We believe that the mismanagement of taxpayers' money must come under the strictest scrutiny and that those involved must be held accountable.”
Smith’s case has arisen as the ANC’s self-imposed “step aside” deadline is approaching.
ANC provincial spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said: “The ANC is currently observing an unfolding process led by the NEC to identify all comrades who are charged with serious crimes and or corruption. Upon the conclusion of that process, we will respond to specific cases. At this stage we wish to follow such a process to its conclusion.”
Good MPL Brett Herron said: “The ANC must maintain their own cleanliness by ensuring a clear route to stepping aside for ethical breaches if requested.
“Danville Smith is an MPL, he has no executive position to step away from. This means the question for him, and the ANC, is whether being criminally charged requires him to vacate his position as a member of the provincial legislature.”
Spokesperson for Local Government MEC Anton Bredell, James-Brent Styan, said: “MEC Bredell has always had a zero tolerance approach to fraud, corruption and maladministration, and in terms of this approach any allegations will be addressed in terms of the prescribed legislative framework.”