KwaZulu-Natal ANC leaders to meet party bosses over defiant Gumede
Mayor of eThekwini withdraws resignation and complains about how provincial leaders have mistreated her
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial ANC leaders are expected to meet the party’s national leadership on Monday to discuss defiant eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s refusal to vacate her office.
Gumede caused a stir for the ANC on Wednesday when she withdrew her resignation as mayor. Gumede is said to have complained to Luthuli House that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial structure had treated her unfairly in removing her from office.
The withdrawal forced the party to call off a council meeting that had been convened to elect her successor, transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda.
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ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule on Thursday confirmed that Gumede had contacted him, complaining about how the party’s provincial leaders had mistreated her.
“She has communicated to me that she has not been fairly treated. We said to her ‘we have been communicating with the leadership. Just be patient and allow us space as the national leadership’.”
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee of the ANC will meet the party’s top six to give its side of the story.
ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said there was nothing unfair about Gumede’s removal. “I don’t think to ask a person to leave a position is unfair. I’m not sure what she’s referring to. We followed process … the same process that was followed when she was deployed,” said Mthembu.
The ANC decided to remove Gumede after a government report revealed that the level of service provision had declined under her watch in eThekwini. The report also revealed a spike in service delivery related protests in the area.
In addition, Gumede is facing corruption charges. She is accused of playing a major role in influencing the appointment of service providers for a R208m Durban Solid Waste tender awarded in 2016, in which 62 other councillors have also been implicated.
Magashule said Gumede had met the top six two weeks ago, where she told them her side of the story.
“We have said to the mayor of eThekwini ‘we have heard you. There is a provincial leadership in the province. We will consult with the leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal’.”
“We have heard the side of the mayor, we will hear the leadership of the ANC.”