Cape Town - Under-fire DA City of Cape Town councillor JP Smith, who is running to become one of the party’s deputy chairpersons in the Western Cape, says he will likely attend this weekend’s provincial congress.
Earlier today the DA announced that both Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille had been suspended from all party activities over media statements following the disbandment of the controversial special investigation unit which fell under the metro police.
Asked about his participation in this weekend’s congress, Smith said: “Yes. We’re trying to determine whether we’re allowed to be at the congress. If not, whether we’re allowed to do our early votes.”
Smith acknowledged that there had been a breakdown in his relationship with De Lille, who had threatened to sue him for his “malicious and defamatory” remarks about the shutting down of the unit.
DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the decision to place both De Lille and Smith on “special leave” during the investigation by a sub-committee chaired by DA MP John Steenhuisen meant that neither could attend caucus meetings, interact with caucus members or others who may testify before the committee or attend party meetings.
“This leave does not affect their candidacy for provincial elected positions, nor does it affect their work in government. They should also not address the media on this issue until the conclusion of the investigation,” said Van Damme.
But the ANC have called for national government to intervene through Police Minister Fikile Mbalula by dismantling Cape Town’s metro police and integrating it into the SAPS.