As eThekwini Municipality Mayor Zandile Gumede embarked on her 30 day leave period whilst the ANC investigates the allegations surrounding her recent arrest on charges of fraud and racketeering, Deputy mayor Fawzia Peer, will take over at the helm.

At a media briefing outlining the feedback from the party’s provincial executive committee meeting (PEC), held over the weekend, ANC KZN provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli announced the news of Gumede’s leave as well as stipulating that ANC eThekwini Councillor, Mondli Mthembu and Newcastle Mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba would also be placed on leave for 30 days.

The three party members are facing criminal charges and were granted bail, recently.

Gumede and Ntuli were released on R50 000 bail each following an alleged fraudulent multi-million rand Durban Solid Waste (DSW) deal, whilst bail cost Mahlaba, R20 000 and his charge sheet includes, conspiracy to commit murder, murder and attempted murder. Ntuli said in media reports that the ‘comrades’ would step aside for 30 days while the party took up concerns relating to their arrests.

He intimated that there appears to be a cloud which has manifested in the areas where the accused comrades have been deployed and the ANC would strive to acquire the relevant information pertaining to the arrests of the party members during the 30 day leave period.

Ntuli said the ANC Ethekwini regional executive committee of which Gumede was the chair has been dissolved and would come under the leadership of the regional task team. Meanwhile, Gumede has vehemently declared in media reports that she will be back as mayor. She vowed that she was not going to step down as mayor and stated that if she did resign, it would imply that she was guilty, hence she maintains her innocence and plans to remain as eThekwini mayor.