July 10 is D-Day for decision on whether Zandile Gumede can resume work

08 July 2019 - 16:44 By Orrin Singh
The ANC says a decision will be announced on Wednesday on whether embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will resume office.
The ANC says a decision will be announced on Wednesday on whether embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will resume office.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has said that come Wednesday a decision will be made public on whether embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will resume office. 

ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said on Monday that the team investigating allegations into a R208m Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender, in which Gumede as well as 62 other councillors were implicated, would need to look into Gumede's bail conditions and whether they would allow her to effectively do her job as mayor. 

"The team investigating will need to look into the bail conditions and how they affect the operations that Zandile will have to undertake as a mayor. As soon as that is presented to the provincial working committee, which will then have to go to the provincial executive committee for a decision as to whether she comes back to work or not." 

Simelane-Zulu would not be drawn to comment any further on the matter, indicating that a decision would be made public on July 10. 

"As indicated comrade Zandile was instructed by the provincial executive committee to take a leave of 30 days and during that time there is going to be a process of the ANC that will look into a number of matters. By the way, she is not the only one - comrade [Newcastle local municipality mayor Dr Ntuthuko ] Mahlaba is also another comrade who has been requested to take the 30 days' leave."

Mahlaba was arrested in May and granted bail of R20,000 in April in connection with the 2017 murder of former ANC Youth League official Wandile Ngobeni.

Last month hundreds of supporters of Gumede gathered on Stalwart Simelane Street outside the ANC provincial offices in Durban demanding that she be reinstated. 

The city also warned of scammers requesting donations to aid her legal bid saying that the mayor had not endorsed the campaign.

Meanwhile the DA in the province has written to KZN CoGTA MEC,Sipho Hlomuka to request an urgent meeting to discuss placing the eThekwini metro municipality under provincial administration.

In a media statement, the opposition party said it remained unclear as to what the ANC did during Gumede’s leave of absence to remedy the situation, highlighting that no terms of reference about the leave were given to the ratepayers of eThekwini.

"The entire purpose of a 30-day suspension for the mayor was to determine a way forward. Clearly this has not happened – largely due to the ANC factionalism that exists within the municipality and the province. The MEC now has a moral and constitutional obligation not to allow this situation to persist and to intervene," the statement read. 

Despite a poisoning scare at a drama-filled full council sitting in Durban last month, deputy mayor Fawzia Peer remains at the helm of the municipality as acting mayor in the interim. 

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