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Why Did Patricia De Lille Shut Down The City of Cape Town’s Special Investigations Unit?

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Once upon a time the City of Cape Town had a special investigations unit (SIU).

It was under the leadership of the Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, and looked into serious matters including “gang violence, xenophobic attacks, corruption within the city council if a specific department requested this, as well as illegal protests and wildfires linked to arson,” reports News24.

It also probed syndicates, including fraudulent car licensing operations.

But in August, it is alleged that Mayor Patricia de Lille instructed the unit be shut down. However, these claims have only fuelled the fire.

Since then, rumours have emerged suggesting her decision to close the unit could be due to some city councillors being involved in a murder. Other rumours suggest de Lille herself is attempting to conceal alleged irregularities relating to building work done at her home.

Jaw dropped? Yup.

In response, the DA federal executive established a committee which will next week begin discussing de Lille’s order.

While de Lille has not confirmed she gave the order to shut it down, News24 has emails showing she did:

One, dated August 1, is from De Lille’s chief of staff to the city manager.

It reads: “The mayor kindly requests written confirmation that the SIU has been shut down. If it has not been shut down yet, she would like to know why this is the case.”

A memorandum from the city manager, dated August 4, said the unit’s mandate had been clarified and its name changed.

Smith also didn’t respond when asked for comment, but News24 has in its possession a “submission from Smith, dated August 20 and addressed to among others, DA leader Mmusi Maimane about his worries about the narrowing of the SIU’s functions”:

In it, Smith said he tried to find out if there was a reason given for wanting to shut down the unit.

He said his “first instincts” were that it could be due to claims by a councillor relating to an apparent police investigation into alleged dubious dealings with a company by city employees.

Smith said in the submission that it was also suggested to him that it may have to do with the murder of DA ward councillor Xolile Gwangxu, who was shot dead in Philippi East in June.

“According to SIU members… their investigation had turned up rumours of the possible involvement of councillors in the death of Cllr Gwangxu, but that nothing had been proven.”

He said another possible reason was that some members of the SIU had previously been in the VIP unit.

“These were all persons who had previously worked in investigations in SAPS or had had detective training while in VIP,” Smith said in his submission.

“The head informed me that members of the unit had mentioned to him that they had witnessed irregularities in relation to the mayor, e.g. that building work outside of the security policy of the city had been undertaken at her home at the expense of council.”

Smith said he had never before heard of these allegations.

“It is possible that she had become suspicious or mistrusting of the SIU due to possible comments made or gossip in relation to such statements made by former VIP unit members and that this may have shaped her view of the SIU,” his submission said.

Kinda like the ANC shutting down the Scorpions? Sort of.

While the special investigations unit has yet to be shut down officially, it has undergone a name change and is now known as the “safety and security internal investigations unit”.

With that, it is unable to do external investigations, which apparently shadowed police probes in order to assist the police.


Of course, sitting pretty on the other side of the fence are those who are backing de Lille’s decision:

Sources within the Western Cape ANC say they believe Smith was using the city’s special investigations unit and the Metro Police for personal gain – to gather information to be used against those he is against, or who are against him, within the DA – instead of to fight crime.

ANC Western Cape secretary general Faiez Jacobs told News24 this week that he viewed the mandate change of the unit as a positive.

“Cowboy JP Smith’s wings have been cut because he was running his own unconstitutional information gathering service,” he said.

And just when you thought the scandal was far from home, an exclusive like this brings reality crashing down.

What are we going to do?


This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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