Smith tells the Daily Voice that someone used his private contact details to register an application at a Joburg-based rehab centre, claiming he suffered from drug, gambling and alcohol addiction.
He got a fright last month when a woman from the privately-owned Crossroads Recovery Centre called him, in reply to a request made on their website.
“I told her someone was taking her for a fool or trying to play a prank on me in an attempt to defame me. I said that it was not a valid request for assistance,” he says.
Smith says he was sent a screen shot of the request which lists his public cellphone number, as well as his private email address.
The request reads: “I need help urgently. my life is out of control. I spend money on drugs, alcohol and am addicted to gambling. I am too embarrassed to tell anyone. Location: Johannesburg.”
Smith says the centre has refused to release the IP address of the computer or device where the request was made from, so that he could trace it.
He has now taken the matter up with his attorneys.
Heinrich Jansen, admissions manager at Crossroads, says if they are served with a court order, they will disclose the IP address.
“We would then release it, we have nothing to hide. We are here to help people and if people are using our service to blackmail people, then that is disgusting,” Jansen said.
An angry Smith says he’s definitely not a junkie.
“I abhor gambling, I think it is an utter waste of money. I barely drink, it’s not a thing for me. I probably have one beer a month. Also I definitely do not do drugs and I could be subjected to a drug test at any time; there is no way I would impair myself,” he says.
“It is quite a sleazy little ploy and I would not have known if they [the centre] did not call me. But I will take action to find the person responsible.”
Smith declined to respond to questions about whether the stunt could have been pulled by someone inside the DA following his public bekgeveg with Mayor Patricia de Lille.
DA Federal Chairperson, James Selfe, confirms Smith raised the issue with the party and says they are taking the matter seriously.
Smith and De Lille are both still on “special leave” from party activities, and they expect a report soon from the commission set up to investigate several issues in the City of Cape Town.