\FIGHT CRIME: Special Investigations Unit has been reinstated
The City’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been reinstated following a decision by the DA caucus to restore the unit which was disbanded by Mayor Patricia de Lille last year.

According to various DA sources, councillors met for a special caucus meeting on Monday in the absence of De Lille to vote on the matter.

The closure of the unit was the cause of tension between De Lille and Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, after allegations that the unit was investigating city councillors.

Smith had lodged a complaint with the DA regarding the unit and other issues and a special commission was set up.

At the time, the SIU was investigating the murder of DA councillor Xolile Gwangxu, who was shot and killed at his Philippi East office last June.

SIU officials denied investigating councillors.

TASKED: The City of Cape Town's JP Smith heads the SIU

A source in the caucus says after a presentation by executive director, Richard Bosman, the councillors voted to reinstate the SIU.

“The Steenhuisen commission’s recommendation was that the caucus must apply their minds and decide whether or not it be reinstated,” the source explained.

“Bosman gave a presentation and its scope of work and the councillors voted in favour, and it has now been renamed as the Safety and Security Investigations Unit.”

The source said the SIU investigated gangsters, criminal syndicates, and public violence and information was often passed on to other law enforcement agencies, including the Hawks and even the FBI in the United States.

“The mayor changed the unit to only conduct internal investigations into staff misconduct.”

Smith confirmed that the unit has been reinstated.

CONTENTIOUS: De Lille email calling for unit’s shutdown

“The caucus supported it and it will now carry on running the full range of functions keeping an eye on the gang and drug-related cases that Metro Police are covering, shadow investigations supporting SAPS, and shadow investigations at the request of the Hawks. Gwangxu’s murder remains unresolved,” he added.

Smith told the Cape Argus that the DA caucus would never allow a mayor to have so much power again.

“We have learned our lesson. Whoever is the next mayor will not have all this power,” he said.

De Lille was reinstated as Mayor by the Cape High Court after the DA fired her last week for saying on a radio show that she would leave the party once her name has been cleared, following allegations of corruption, nepotism and mismanagement.

Yesterday, De Lille said she has not yet been informed of the SIU’s reinstatement: “Such a decision would have been taken while I was away. I have not officially been informed of such a decision and I will engage on the matter once a report has been brought to me.”

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