CAPE TOWN – The spat between Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, is a sign of factionalism and infighting in the DA, the ANC in the Western Cape said on Tuesday.
“During the 2016 elections we told you that there is a cold war within the DA and you did not believe us,” the party’s chairperson in the Dullah Omar region Xolani Sotashe said at a briefing in Philippi East.
“Now we feel vindicated.”
Sotashe accused De Lille of changing allegiances “like a chameleon”, after moving from the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) to the Independent Democrats (ID), and then agreeing to be absorbed into the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Sotashe claimed that the DA only wanted De Lille for what he called “the coloured vote”.
“The marriage between De Lille and Helen Zille was not going to last,” he continued.
He said Smith did nothing without checking first with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, adding that he was “ineffective”.
The ANC said it would also give the Public Protector’s office proof of an alleged R9.2m spent on roofing in Bellville which was never done, even though the City had already paid for the work.
It would hold a site visit on Wednesday to reveal more, he said.
De Lille, Smith placed on special leave
On Tuesday, the DA announced that De Lille and Smith had been placed on special leave from party activities.
This came after De Lille lashed out at Smith on Monday via a press release. She accused him of dragging her name through the mud with claims he had made about the closure of a City anti-crime unit.
The ANC saw this as an opportunity to pounce on the province’s governing party.
Sotashe claimed that the City of Cape Town boasted about clean audits, but there was “no such”.
“And, as [we] speak now, there is no leadership in the City of Cape Town,” he claimed.
The briefing was on the sidelines of an expected visit by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula after 11 people were killed in Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East.