eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede 'waiting patiently' to learn her fate
Embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is “waiting patiently” to learn whether she has any future role to play within the ruling party in KwaZulu-Natal.
Gumede spoke to TimesLIVE on Monday while a closed-door meeting was being held in Durban by the party's provincial leadership, which would essentially determine her fate.
The ANC's provincial working committee (PWC) in KwaZulu-Natal was tasked with investigating Gumede’s fitness to hold office after she, along with 62 other eThekwini officials, were implicated in a R208m tender scandal.
The team is currently presenting a report to the the provincial executive committee (PEC) regarding its findings.
Gumede said no one had been in communication with her about the report or the status of the meeting. “I have not heard from anyone. I am, just like you, also waiting patiently,” she said.
The PWC report was also expected to determine the future of suspended murder accused Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba. However, in an interview with the SABC on Sunday, KZN ANC spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the report into Mahlaba had not yet been finalised.
“The committee that deals with that report were meant to report to the PWC and it has been able to report in relation to eThekwini. However, it hasn’t been able to report in relation to Newcastle, because they are different kind of comrades there, who have not been able to finalise their tasks,” said Simelane-Zulu.
"So the PWC received the eThekwini report and [it] is going to be presented [on Sunday] and the PEC will engage on it."
The ANC could not confirm whether a media briefing about Gumede's fate would be held on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Meanwhile, ANC branch leader Mzomuhle Dube has once again reaffirmed his support for Gumede ahead of the announcement.
"We've never really understood the matter regarding her case. We will remain militant, pending the outcome of the report," said Dube.
Gumede is currently on special leave as she faces charges of fraud and corruption relating to a R208m Durban Solid Waste tender awarded in 2016, in which the 62 other councillors were implicated.
In June, the party's PEC resolved that Gumede should step down for 30 days to allow the governing party time to finalise an internal investigation into the allegations. She was due back at work on July 10. However, the ANC said the investigation was incomplete and she would return only after this has been finalised.
Gumede and her co-accused are due in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
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