Cape Town – The City of Cape Town’s safety boss, JP Smith, is set to be axed for allegedly being outspoken “one time too many”.
The Daily Voice has learnt that Smith, the Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security, will be demoted to a lesser post and that the 11 mayco posts are being cut down to just six.A well-placed source in the City’s structures said Smith, one of the mayco’s “most active” members, is to be removed from his position in January 2017.
The high-ranking official reveals the orders came directly from Mayor Patricia de Lille who is “punishing” Smith for openly criticising the SAPS, and how his department was being “controlled”.
City spokeswoman Pierrinne Leukes confirmed that a portfolio shake-up is on the cards, but would not reveal who would be affected, nor would she comment on Smith’s future.
She denied Smith was being punished for speaking out of turn.
The outspoken Smith has been the City’s safety boss for the past eight years.
Although the City only controls 3 percent of policing resources in Cape Town, its gang and drug task team (GDTT) and stabilisation unit has arrested more than 700 suspects and confiscated 23 firearms in the first eight months of this year, while 716 suspects were nabbed in gang hotspots.
Smith also introduced the ShotSpotter system on the Cape Flats, a device which records gunfire and can direct law enforcement to the scene of the crime.
The insider added that Smith’s axing will be a big loss loss for the public.
“He is being axed for being too passionate, too open about the ills and now he is being set aside and replaced with people who have little or no idea how to run that office and there is nothing we can say to change it,” said the source.
Leukes said the imminent changes to Mayco is “not news” and has been a long time coming.
“As of 1 January 2017, all Mayoral Committee members will be receiving new portfolios in order to accommodate the new directorates in terms of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan,” said Leukes
“These changes will be communicated in due course, as noted in previous communication.”
Asked for a response, Smith would only say “no comment