JP Smith still in the running for DA Western Cape post

2017-10-06 17:27
Mayco member JP Smith (Jenni Evans, News24)

Mayco member JP Smith (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Cape Town mayoral committee member JP Smith is still able to run for one of three Western Cape deputy chairperson posts at the party's provincial congress this weekend.

Smith and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille were both placed on special leave this week following a bust-up centred around De Lille's alleged push to shut down the Special Investigations Unit in the city.

READ HERE: De Lille and Smith placed on special leave over spat - DA

Smith told News24 on Friday that his nomination for deputy chairperson will still be valid once party delegates cast their votes on Saturday in Cape Town.

"Yes, I'm still allowed to run, I'm just not able to attend," he said speaking of his special leave.

"We're not allowed to be deprived of our candidacy as we haven't been found guilty of anything. So I'm still a candidate.

"We've not been charged with anything and there isn't even a suggestion of us being charged."

Smith will attend the conference before it starts to cast his ballot. He will then spend the day patrolling the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi where 11 people died last week, he said.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe told News24 on Friday that the conditions of Smith's special leave only precludes him from attending party events, but his membership was not affected.

The issue of Smith and De Lille's special leave will be reconsidered once a commission of inquiry into the SIU saga is completed next week, Selfe said.

Candidate for Western Cape leader disqualified

The run-up to the party's provincial congress has been rocky to say the least.

Another Cape Town mayoral committee member Anda Ntsodo was disqualified from competing for the top job after a technicality was raised by current acting leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.

Ntsodo was initially one of three candidates vying for the role of permanent provincial leader left vacant by De Lille in January, along with Madikizela and DA MPL Lennit Max.

His candidacy was ruled ineligible after he withdrew his nomination for the post on the day of its closure, but then retracted his withdrawal after the deadline had passed.

Ntsodo has appealed the decision. He told News24 that Madikizela's role as acting leader and candidacy for the job created a conflict of interest. He should be given the chance to be eliminated "through the ballot box", he said.

Madikizela told News24 on Friday though that Ntsodo's actions clearly broke the DA's rules, and they couldn't accept a nomination received "way after the cutoff".

Selfe confirmed Ntsodo's appeal will not be successful, as the ruling came from the party's highest decision-making structure. The only avenue for him would be to lobby the courts, if he felt aggrieved, he added.

The provincial congress also won't be attended by the party's two former provincial leaders either, Helen Zille and de Lille.

Zille, who stepped down from all party positions in June following her controversial tweets about colonialism, but whose membership was unaffected, will be attending a wedding on the day, eNCA reports.

De Lille meanwhile is currently serving under the same conditions of special leave as Smith. She is not running for any position on Saturday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane will be the keynote speaker. Proceedings will begin at 09:00. The results are expected to be announced around 16:00.

Read more on:    da  |  jp smith  |  cape town  |  politics

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