The ANC says Zandile Gumede's removal as eThekwini mayor was more about the poor running of the municipality and less about the criminal charges she faces. Picture: GALLO IMAGES / THE TIMES / JACKIE CLAASEN
The ANC says Zandile Gumede's removal as eThekwini mayor was more about the poor running of the municipality and less about the criminal charges she faces. Picture: GALLO IMAGES / THE TIMES / JACKIE CLAASEN

The ANC top brass on Tuesday confirmed that controversial eThekwini municipality leader Zandile Gumede had been officially ousted as mayor, paving the way for the installation of Mxolisi Kaunda as the new mayor.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte confirmed that Gumede and other senior party members had been removed from the powerful, decision-making executive committee (Exco) but will remain as ordinary councillors.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal in August asked Gumede to resign. She did so on Monday last week, but later withdrew that resignation letter and sought an audience with party bosses at Luthuli House.

“In the best interest of the ANC and the metropolitan of eThekwini, we would agree that the Exco that has been requested to vacate their seats vacate their seats as Exco. However, they remain as councillors within the metro,” Duarte told journalists on Tuesday.

Duarte also agreed that transport MEC Kaunda would be mayor, former finance MEC Belinda Scott would be deputy mayor and former social development MEC Weziwe Thusi would come in as council speaker.

She said the decision to remove Gumede and the entire ANC Exco was about the general poor running of the municipality, and was “less about” the criminal charges being faced by the now-ousted mayor.

Duarte said on Tuesday: “We’ve agreed not to take disciplinary action against comrade Gumede. What we have done is sit with her and to understand her reasons [for withdrawing her resignation]. She gave us her reasons and we’ve accepted that. There was also anxiety on her part; she was unclear about what would happen to her.

“The reasons for her and Exco being removed have little to do with her arrest and much more to do with the general assessment of the performance of the municipality. She’s accepted that.”