DA City of Cape Town caucus Deputy Leader, Mayco member for Safety and Security, DA Cape Metro Region Deputy Chairperson and DA Western Cape Provincial Deputy Chairperson JP Smith is the latest DA member to be embroiled in a qualification scandal.
Smith’s biography sent by his personal assistant to the Music Exchange conference organisers where he was a guest speaker in 2019 says he has an honours degree in English from Stellenbosch University. However, Smith did not complete his honours, reports the Weekend Argus.
In 2018, Smith was part of 56 speakers in the 13-day Safer Western Cape conference which discussed ways to combat crime in the province, a subject Smith is familiar with as he has more than a decade’s experience working in the municipal’s safety and security portfolio. His profile on the list said Smith has an honours degree in English from the University of Stellenbosch.
Smith quit studying when he became fully active in politics.
Smith released a media statement saying: “My previous and current CV has at all times accurately reflected my qualifications. My highest tertiary qualification is a BA Degree which I obtained from Stellenbosch University in 1993. My CV has been verified by the DA candidate process as accurate.
“This CV, submitted in early 2020, accurately reflects my tertiary qualifications with my BA degree listed as my highest completed degree. My CV is and has always been, accurately reflected on the City of Cape Town website. The CV further explicitly reflects an Honours in English as incomplete. It has been my intention to return to completing this Honours degree, but workload over the last years has made that impossible.”
The organiser of the Music Exchange conference Martin Mayers told the Weekend Argus he received Smith’s biography from his personal assistant.
“We always ask for biographies and used what was sent to us by his personal assistant,” said Martin
But Smith responded by saying a clerical error was made.
“At some point, a clerical error was made in editing a bio by omitting the term ‘incomplete’ in relation to an incomplete Honours in English postgraduate qualification. This error must have persisted for a while some years ago until a subsequent edit update corrected it.”
The DA has been embroiled in a number of qualification scandals recently, and the party has taken a decision to verify qualifications of its members.
Mayco Member for Water and Waste at the City of Cape Town, Xanthea Limberg is currently under investigation by the DA’s federal council for allegedly misrepresenting her qualifications.
Former DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela resigned from the provincial cabinet after it was revealed that he misrepresented his qualifications.