Violent protests & an internal investigation: Five must-read stories on Zandile Gumede
Protests, arrests and questions about her return to work. These are the headlines surrounding embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede after she was asked to take a 30-day leave of absence from work.
The ANC's provincial executive committee in KZN instructed her to step down for 30 days after it was revealed she was facing charges of fraud and corruption relating to a R208m Durban Solid Waste tender, awarded in 2016.
Here are five must-read stories on Gumede.
Leave of absence
In June, it was confirmed that Gumede was temporarily stepping down from her mayoral position.
The decision was taken by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial leadership following her appearance in court on corruption charges.
Gumede's case involves claims of criminality, outright patronage and denials of wrongdoing.
After her court appearance, TimesLIVE reported that Gumede would be taking a 30-day leave of absence while the party investigated claims against her.
In the face of mounting pressure on whether Gumede would return to work or not, the ANC remained mum, insisting that investigations were still under way.
ANC spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that the team investigating allegations would look into Gumede's bail conditions and whether they would allow her to do her job as mayor.
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal called for the government to remove Gumede permanently.
DA KZN spokesperson on co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) Mbali Ntuli said she had tabled a motion in the provincial legislature on Tuesday requesting that Premier Sihle Zikalala make Gumede's leave of absence permanent.
Not returning to work ... yet
ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary-general Mdumiseni Ntuli on Wednesday announced that Gumede would not return to work just yet, as an ANC investigation was still incomplete.
Ntuli said it should be completed by the end of the month.
Support for Gumede
Gumede's supporters shut down Durban's West Street on Thursday, saying they were looking forward to seeing her return to work, despite the ANC insisting that she was still on a leave of absence.
TimesLIVE reported that what started as a handful of Gumede supporters soon grew to a group of about 100 people. They blockaded the Durban city hall and stopped traffic in the city centre.
Police confirmed that more than 30 people were arrested in the violent protests.
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