​Gumede to take ‘enforced’ leave of absence but maintains her innocence

eThekwini ANC chairperson Zandile Gumede has taken an enforced 30-day leave of absence following the governing party’s decision that she should do so or face removal from office over her arrest in connection with a R208-million water removal tender scam.

The ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) has also disbanded the eThekwini regional executive committee (REC) over the scam, in which 62 councillors, some of them REC members, are also allegedly implicated.

The ANC is keeping mum about the decision, which was taken by its provincial working committee (PWC) last Tuesday and confirmed by the PEC on Friday, until after its two-day lekgotla is concluded on Monday evening.

However, Gumede confirmed that she would take leave in a video clip circulated on the governing party’s social media. In the video, she says that while she had not done anything wrong, she would take the leave of absence in accordance with the party’s decision.

Gumede had previously resisted stepping aside after being arrested along with ANC deputy regional secretary and eThekwini speaker Mondli Mthembu and a group of contractors and officials who allegedly scammed the city for R208-million for work that was never done.


In the clip Gumede said that she had not been asked to resign.

“After the resolution of the PEC…I am going to be taking a leave of absence,” she said. “I will never defy my leadership.”

“They did not ask me to step aside, they said I must take 30 days leave to ensure that I clear the air,” she said.

Gumede, who will appear in the Durban commercial crimes court again in August, is not the only senior ANC member in the province whose allegedly criminal conduct was discussed by the PEC.

In addition to Mthembu, Newcastle mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, is out on bail for the alleged murder of ANC Youth League official Wandile Ngobeni, while in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, several ANC councillors are standing trial for the killing of their comrades.

The PEC decided before the May 8 polls that all members charged with serious crimes should stand aside from public office until their matters were concluded in court. However, Mahlaba and others have thus far refused to do so, despite being given a deadline.

On Friday, provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala told the meeting that those who refused to stand aside would be recalled by the party and removed from office.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that the party would comment on its decisions at the PEC and the lekgotla — including the Gumede issue — on Tuesday.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

Related stories

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

The demon of cronyism in the public service must be crushed

When employees do not give their best, it is the organisation that suffers the most. In the case of government this directly affects citizens

Sitting targets and lame ducks

Everybody’s staying pozi, which is making all the arrests easy for the Hawks. Only Ace is desperate to be seen

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

South Africa requires a different vision than the ANC’s

In response to Ryno Geldenhuys’s piece Under Mbali Ntuli the DA would offer South Africans a new political home, published in the Mail & Guardian on 13 October
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Q&A Sessions: ‘My north star is the patient’

Rhulani Nhlaniki is Pfizer’s cluster lead for sub-Saharan Africa. As Pfizer starts phase III of the clinical trial of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, he tells Malaikah Bophela that if it is successful, the company will ensure the vaccine will be available to everyone who needs it

In terms of future-telling failures, this is a Major One

Bushiri knows how to pull a crowd. Ace knows a ponzi scheme. Paddy Harper predicts that a new prophet may profit at Luthuli House

Ghost fishing gear an ‘immortal menace’ in oceans

Lost and illegal tackle is threatening marine life and the lives of people making a living from the sea

Vitamin therapy is for drips

It may be marketed by influencers, but intravenous vitamin therapy is not necessary and probably not worth the hype, experts say
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday