There is much speculation over what has caused the rift between the Democratic Alliance's Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille and Mayoral Committee Member JP Smith, with some saying there may be ideological and personality differences between the two.
Tensions boiled over when Smith questioned the shutting down of the City of Cape Town’s Special Investigating Unit and also raised alleged irregularities about renovations done at de Lille’s house.
Both de Lille and Smith have been placed on special leave from the party to allow investigations to take place without interference.
Business Day columnist, Gareth van Onselen says the spat largely boils down to two different personalities and their inability to work together.
One must be careful not to speculate as to what exactly the problem is just because the situation is quite fluid and all the facts are not known.— Gareth van Onslelen, columnist
It is possible to say the conflict between Patricia de Lille and JP Smith is a long-standing one, and when the trust which is the foundational value for any political party is eroded between two individuals, that is a recipe for behavior which might otherwise be normal, to be regarded with suspicion and be suspected to be part of an agenda.— Gareth van Onslelen, columnist
He says the public spat is damaging to the party.
Politically it is massively costly to the Democratic Alliance which is trying to position itself as this sort of mature unified alternative to the ANC.— Gareth van Onslelen, columnist
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