JP Smith under investigation after accusing activist group of being an ANC front

JP Smith under investigation after accusing activist group of being an ANC front

The City of Cape Town member for safety and security and the DA's deputy caucus leader JP Smith has been placed under council investigation for accusing the activist group STOP COCT of being a front for the ANC

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DA deputy caucus leader and member for safety and security JP Smith has been placed under council investigation. This follows him labeling the activist group STOP COCT as an ANC front.

The allegation had been made by Smith in a response to the Clifton beach eviction incident. In an email between himself and the founder of the movement, Sandra Dickson, Smith had claimed that a woman on her Facebook page had told him that the founder was 'utterly intolerant of criticism and censors people who say things you ( Dickson) don't like'.

Dickson denies Smith's accusation, saying that the mere fact he would infer they were a front for the ruling party indicated how far removed from reality and the public Smith really is.

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The STOP COCT group had been formed in late 2017 to tackle tariff hikes for water, sanitation and electricity. The movement has around 14 000 active members.

“Since inception it was abundantly clear to our members that the City is selectively adhering to the law as it uses this requirement as a ‘tick’ box on its way to impose tariffs and by-laws on the public, which is strongly opposed by most people.”

The founder has lodged with Dirk Smit, council speaker, and says that the members of the group wants to see the council rejecting the 'frivolous and insufficient' response in no uncertain terms.

"It is clear to us that this senior mayoral committee member has no intention to be accountable or responsible for his accusation; nor is he willing to engage in community issues by responding coherently to the serious community issues raised in the letter.” the statement said.

Smith's response to the complaint had commented that he had directed the statement to Dickson only. He went on the say that he does not believe that all participants in STOP COCT were involved with the ANC.

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“Many of the persons involved are concerned about legitimate issues, but some are part of various political organisations other than the ANC as well. Many agendas are served on groups like this - some legitimate, some less so,” Smith said.

Smith is still totally convinced that the core motivation of the page was purely political.

“And driven by an ANC narrative, possibly by people in ANC employ who do no other work other than engaging in continuous and disingenuous attacks on the City and the DA, based on huge amounts of misinformation.” Smith had said.

The speaker's office has confirmed that more information on the matter will be released as soon as it becomes available.

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