While members of the public have called on Mayor Patricia de Lille not to axe JP Smith, at least one person will be happy to see the back of the City’s safety boss.
Cosatu Western Cape secretary general Tony Ehrenreich is calling for Smith not only to be fired, but also to be investigated for “incompetence”.
Meanwhile, the City confirmed Smith’s Safety and Security portfolio will be affected when the mayoral committee structures gets a reshuffle in January.
De Lille’s spokeswoman Pierrinne Leukes said the safety and security portfolio will be merged with that of Social Services, with only one mayco member overseeing both.
It is not clear who will be placed in charge of the crucial portfolio.
Overall, the mayco members will be cut from 11 to 10.
“This is being done to support the transversal management of the City,” says Leukes.
A high-ranking source in the City told the Daily Voice Smith is being axed by De Lille because he publicly criticised SAPS and “interference in his job”.
De Lille has denied this.
Online petitions including a Facebook page called “Hands off Alderman JP Smith” have been started, calling on De Lille to retain the City’s Sheriff.
But Ehrenreich says JP must go.
“[Premier Helen] Zille knew that JP was a special needs child, but she would put any white friend of hers into the senior positions when she was the Mayor,” says Ehrenreich.
“This City has gone from bad to worse under JP’s term in office. It is today seeing more killings and more people are like hostages in their own homes given gang prevalence. This is because instead of developing a strategic plan to deal with the crime, he runs from press conference to press conference, to confuse Capetonians.
“Smith must be given a lesser job that he can handle, but for the safety of the citizens of Cape Town he must go.”