Trust deficit 'almost irreparable' between Zandile Gumede and party leaders in KZN

28 August 2020 - 13:12 By STHEMBILE CELE and ZIMASA MATIWANE
Zandile Gumede, the ousted eThekwini mayor who is facing fraud and corruption charges, wants the ANC's national executive committee to make the final decision regarding her recent appointment as a member of the provincial legislature. File photo.
Zandile Gumede, the ousted eThekwini mayor who is facing fraud and corruption charges, wants the ANC's national executive committee to make the final decision regarding her recent appointment as a member of the provincial legislature. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Zandile Gumede wants the ANC national executive committee (NEC), which is meeting this weekend, to be the final arbiter in the matter between herself and the party's provincial executive committee (PEC).

Sources close to the eThekwini heavyweight said the trust deficit between Gumede and the KwaZulu-Natal PEC is almost irreparable.

TimesLIVE has heard Gumede and her supporters want the NEC to have the final say on the matter.

“Even at NEC level, we will want consistency. The same rules will have to apply for others who are facing charges in court and have not yet been prosecuted. If she must step aside from her responsibilities, then others in parliament and other levels of government must do the same,” said one source who is close to the matter.

The former mayor and regional chairperson is said to no longer trust the intentions of the party in the province, which has again asked her to step aside from a position in local government. Gumede was forced to step aside from her mayoral duties while facing corruption charges. The PEC at the time insisted the move had nothing to do with her legal woes, but was instead about improving governance in the city.

Outcry

Last week Gumede was sworn in as a member of the provincial legislature, a move which sparked a public outcry as the ANC battles to shed the perception that it harbours those who are suspected of or found to have their hands in the cookie jar.

The PEC allegedly asked Gumede on Thursday to step aside from the position she took up last week. Her legal advisers have apparently asked that she seek clarity from the PEC about why she is being removed, especially ahead of a court appearance on September 10.

Amid the proposals before the PEC, which is now meeting, is for Gumede to take leave of absence pending the outcome of the court proceedings in two weeks' time. A final decision on her future would be taken after the outcome of that appearance.

The PEC also wants Gumede to appear before its integrity commission together with deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu.

TimesLIVE, however, understands that Mabuyakhulu has decided to step down from the province’s top leadership.

The deputy chairperson is one of 16 suspects in a case related to the theft of about R28m from provincial coffers. It is alleged that during his tenure as MEC of economic development in KwaZulu-Natal‚ Mabuyakhulu directed millions into the accounts of his seven co-accused and nine other companies and businessmen for which he allegedly received kickbacks.

Mabuyakhulu and Durban businessman Mabheleni Ntuli were cited among the five main role players in a fraud‚ corruption and money-laundering case relating to a failed jazz festival five years ago.

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