The minority African Christian Democratic Party says that the Speaker of the Cape Town city council, Dirk Smit, has been ‘selective’ in his approach to releasing information about the upgrade of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s private home. Councillor Grant Haskin also says that Smit, a mere city council functionary, is an inappropriate person to be dealing with an executive mayoral issue
It has taken almost three years for any information to come to light over the security upgrade – apparently costing about half a million rand – and this has been done selectively “and only after mounting public pressure, says Grant Haskin, the ACDP leader on the city council.
Haskin said the speaker has been issuing statements defending Mayor de Lille and explaining executive expenditure. Haskin questioned the role of a council functionary doing the dirty work of the executive branch of the city government.
It is inappropriate, he said, for the speaker to be defending and explaining the mayor’s actions.
Smit – who refers to himself as Alderman – said in a statement that in the light of the misleading reports by members of the ANC regarding security measures installed at the executive mayor’s house, he would like to place the following on record. He alleges:
- The amount of R700 000 “which the ANC is using to create sensation” was made available for security measures to be implemented at the mayor’s residence. The full amount was not used.
- It is not true that R700 000 was used for renovations at the mayor’s house. An amount of about R451 000 was paid by the council for security measures only.
- The city implemented these safety measures as prescribed by the SA Police Service who conducted a security risk assessment at the mayor’s residence.
- Members of the ANC are misleading the media and members of the public by trying to create confusion and insinuate that the city paid for renovations. This is a lie. The city only paid for the security measures which the SAPs instructed should be implemented.
The speaker welcomed ANC councillor and city caucus leader Xolani Sotashe’s pledge that the matter would be reported to the Public Protector.
Meanwhile Sotashe called for De Lille to “pay back the money”. He said 13 TV cameras had been placed at the home. But the people that needed security cameras lived in the townships, like the nearby Langa township near to De Lille’s leafy suburb Pinelands home.
Smith, meanwhile, said only R451‚000 had been paid by council for security measures.