Why axe ef­fi­cient JP Smith?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE mooted ax­ing of may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber Coun­cil­lor JP Smith from the po­si­tion of safety and se­cu­rity by Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille is highly dis­con­cert­ing given that Cape Town ranks among the top 10 most vi­o­lent cities in the world and is the most vi­o­lent in South Africa.

Cape Town, with a pop­u­la­tion of three mil­lion, last year recorded 2 541 homi­cides, or 65 per 100 000, while Dur­ban with the same pop­u­la­tion recorded half that num­ber. JP Smith has done an out­stand­ing job for the past 15 years try­ing to keep cit­i­zens safe with his hands-on ap­proach to law en­force­ment.

I have lis­tened to him ad­dress our lo­cal ratepay­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion and he came across as highly knowl­edge­able and ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about his job. When a good man with an ex­cel­lent track record may be sum­mar­ily dis­missed/de­moted with no good rea­son then we, as res­i­dents of Cape Town, need to ask whether our mayor is af­flicted by the con­ta­gious dis­ease known as Zu­mi­tis, where com­pe­tent peo­ple are re­placed by cronies.

South Africans are still reel­ing from the pain of the Nene/Van Rooyen/Pravin de­ba­cle cre­ated by our reck­less pres­i­dent, so we would ex­pect lead­ers who wield some power to act with cau­tion when re­plac­ing good coun­cil­lors and min­is­ters.

The DA has pre­sented it­self as an al­ter­na­tive to many of the elec­torate who were left highly dis­grun­tled by the cor­rupt ANC but when the DA starts behaving like the de­spi­ca­ble ANC, then those who voted for the DA in the last mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions have ev­ery right to ask: “What’s the al­ter­na­tive for the elec­tions of 2019?”

Re­plac­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced per­son like JP Smith with a com­plete nonen­tity like Suzette Lit­tle, who has a back­ground in so­cial ser­vices, is truly court­ing dis­as­ter and play­ing with our safety.

Coun­cil­lor Lit­tle has done an atro­cious job try­ing to head and im­ple­ment the city’s ques­tion­able drug pol­icy so I won­der if she is go­ing to bring any­thing unique to the ta­ble when it comes to com­bat­ing crime in the city.

If the leader of the DA, Musi Maimane, be­lieves cam­paign­ing for the 2019 elec­tion has be­gun then a good place for him to start af­ter he rids the city of the “poo thrower” is to tackle the fickle and petty Patty.

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