Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille
Cape Town - Controversial senior DA City of Cape Town councillor JP Smith says he intends to attend the party’s Western Cape congress this weekend despite his suspension from all party activities, alongside Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

Smith has been nominated as a deputy provincial chairperson, in an election to find a successor to De Lille, who quit the position earlier this year.

“We’re trying to determine whether we’ll be allowed at the Congress. If not, whether we’re allowed to cast our early votes,” said Smith.

DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said both Smith and De Lille would continue with their work at the City of Cape Town.

Read: LOOK: De Lille, Smith placed on special leave by DA

“The sub-committee chaired by (DA MP) John Steenhuisen is investigating the matter and will make recommendations to the federal executive,” said Van Damme, who added that she did not know how long the investigation would take.

A former DA councillor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said allegations against De Lille have to be investigated.

He painted a picture of a mayor who had aggrieved many in the caucus over her “arrogant and rude” manner.

“It’s clear to everybody that there are camps in the DA. Auntie Pat (De Lille) has become a thorn in the flesh for many people ... this is an opportune time to get rid of her,” said the former councillor.

Also read: De Lille consults lawyers amid JP Smith's 'cowboy' antics

A former mayoral committee member predicted that De Lille would soon be gone: “Patricia has served her purpose. She is too headstrong that she doesn’t bend backwards for them.”

He predicted that, should Bonginkosi Madikizela win this weekend’s provincial leadership contest, he would likely be moved to the city “because they need a black mayor”.

“(Deputy mayor) Ian Neilson will then come into the role again because she (De Lille) had clipped his wings,” said the former mayco member.

The feud between De Lille and Smith, according to some insiders, had been brewing since she became mayor in 2011 “when he actively sought to undermine her”.

On Monday, De Lille threatened legal action against Smith over his remarks about her order that the metro police shut down the special investigations unit.

According to a City of Cape Town insider, the source of the latest fallout between De Lille and Smith was an investigation, launched in January by an official in Smith’s office, into suspected tender irregularities by mayoral committee member for Area North, Suzette Little. “Her office staff was confronted with demands made for tender documents and they told him to f*** off,” said the source.

“No comment,” was the response when Little was called to comment on the claims.

Among the DA caucus, it has also been speculated that the unit was used to spy on city officials and members of the mayoral committee.

Political Bureau