The City of eThekwini and its residents remain in limbo as embattled and outgoing eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, awaits the ANC top six’s decision on her resignation withdrawal appeal.
According to a reliable source in the KwaZulu-Natal ANC, Gumede has recently met with the party’s top six to discuss her resignation. This comes after the ANC’s KZN Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) announced Gumede’s sudden withdrawal of her resignation last week Wednesday. Gumede claimed that she was unhappy with how her situation was handled by the ANC leadership in the province.
Gumede and her office is currently under investigation for her role in a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender. Earlier this year, she was placed on leave and after a two-day special meeting, the ANC’s PEC enacted the recommendations of the Provincial Working Committee (PWC) that she be recalled along with the entire executive committee.
This took place after the PWC compiled a report on local governance in the province, raised complaints from residents about issues such as water provisions, water infrastructure, refuse removal and allegations of fraud and corruption.
The source said: “Gumede went to Johannesburg to hear for herself why she was redeployed with no reason. They told her that the instruction was for the PEC to hold off on her redeployment but they went ahead anyway. This is why she is adamant that the party’s PEC did not follow proper procedures in her redeployment.”
The source also revealed that Gumede was up for a fight and has ammunition against the PEC.
“She was advised by members of the national leadership to withdraw and it was not a decision she made out of thin air,” the source said.
The ANC has postponed two full eThekwini council meetings, where Mxolisi Kaunda would have been sworn in as the new mayor. The last postponed council was scheduled for last week Thursday.
Mzomuhle Dube, Gumede’s spokesperson, claimed she was told to resign via SMS by the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee. He said: “The PEC has handled this matter very badly from the beginning and you cannot tell a leader to resign via SMS.” said Dube.
Dube said Gumede believed that only the National Executive Committee, and not the PEC, had powers to appoint and recall metro mayors. ANC Provincial Secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, described Gumede’s decision as “completely undermining the centrality” of the ANC while tarnishing the organisation.
“As we await for the outcome of Gumede’s appeal to Luthuli House, the party would deal decisively with people challenging the authority of the ANC,” Ntuli added.
He clarified that they were not aware when the decision will be released.