Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede denies agreeing to step aside
Embattled former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede says she knows nothing about agreeing to step aside in line with the ANC NEC resolution for members charged with serious crimes.
Gumede was speaking to TimesLIVE after the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal issued a statement saying that all affected ANC members had agreed to comply with the step aside rule.
“I can't speak for them. I just saw it on TV. Don't ask me about it because you never saw me on TV. Speak with them. They must be Zandile and be the PEC and speak about everything,” said Gumede.
She said she never attended any meeting with the PEC and she did not want to speak further on the matter because she felt abused.
Gumede is charged with fraud and corruption in connection with a Durban Solid Waste tender awarded by the eThekwini metro. She was mayor at the time and is now a member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.
Gumede was initially asked to step aside last year, and obliged, when the ANC first started moves to implement the step aside rule. But Gumede was brought back in December as the ANC, nationally, was in intense discussions about the controversial rule, which also affected its secretary-general, Ace Magashule, who has since been suspended.
ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli could not be reached for comment. But in the statement, the party said it welcomed a report of the provincial working committee which indicated that the provincial secretary's office has met almost all comrades who were affected by the step aside decision.
“These comrades have also accepted the decision of the national executive committee as the highest organ of our movement between conferences and agreed to step aside pending the finalisation of their court cases,” reads the statement.
So far, only ANC deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu had volunteered to step aside from his position.
Eleven other ANC members in the province are affected by the step aside rule.