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JP Smith back on DA business after special leave

JP Smith had been placed on special leave from party activity, along with Patricia de Lille, after their disagreements turned into a public spat.

City of Cape Towns JP Smith (R). Picture:  Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lifted the special leave of Cape Town mayoral committee member JP Smith.

It has prevented him from participating in party activity since October and he has also been prohibited from attending city caucus meetings.

Smith had been placed on special leave from party activity, along with Mayor Patricia de Lille, after their disagreements turned into a public spat and eventually an internal dispute.

A decision by de Lille to shut down a controversial Special Investigating Unit under Smith's control led to a complaint to the DA's federal executive.

After two months of testimony from dozens of councillors about de Lille's alleged divisive leadership, she's now facing disciplinary action and Smith is off the hook for now.

He's been informed by the DA's federal executive that he's free to return to party activity.

Smith says he acted in good faith.

“Much of what I reported has been corroborated by many others and by forensic evidence supplied by others. This has vindicated my initial complaints and concerns. It’s shown that I acted in good faith and not with malice.”

He says he will cooperate with further party investigations to determine whether he should face any charges as a result of the fallout.

He adds that he will prove that the controversial SIU did not act unlawfully.

Smith says he wants the unit to be re-established as soon as possible.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)