Debate on DA spat shot down

09 November 2017 - 08:30 By Aphiwe Deklerk
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

Yet another attempt by the ANC to discuss the public spat between Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and mayco member JP Smith has been shot down by the council.

In a safety and security portfolio committee meeting yesterday, the party tried to revive their bid to get answers on the matter, which also involves security upgrades at De Lille's home and the disbanding of the city's special investigative unit, which fell under Smith.

But committee chairman Mzwakhe Nqavashe stated the issue could only be discussed at a full council meeting.

ANC councillor Khaya Yozi said Nqavashe had made a ruling in a previous meeting that a presentation by the party about the two matters could be debated during yesterday's meeting.

Therefore Yozi wanted to know why the matter had been omitted from the agenda.

"I believe all the councillors here are in agreement that the committee needed to be taken into confidence about this public debate that was happening between Smith and the executive mayor," said Yozi.

"[We are not being] given the factual information so that we can understand what is really happening with [the two]," added Yozi.

But Nqavashe said his ruling had stated that the issue was a political matter for a full council meeting to deal with.

"Our portfolio committee doesn't get involved with any upgrade or increase of security to any councillor under threat," he said.

Nqavashe said Yozi should not bring political debates in newspapers to the committee.

"You can't bring political issues that are outside safety and social services, irrespective of whose name is [mentioned in the media]," said Nqavashe.

But Smith said the correct procedure was to bring a motion to the committee.

In last month's council meeting, the ANC were given their marching orders after they tried to force questions on the matter ahead of De Lille's opening speech.

The battle between De Lille and Smith was sparked by a leaked letter that Smith wrote to DA leadership about the disbanding of the City of Cape Town's investigative unit.

De Lille threatened to take legal action against her colleague, but the DA put a lid on the fight when it established a subcommittee to resolve the matter.