Durban - Getting a major platform to address the masses for the first time almost a month after bouncing back as the chairperson of the ANC in the eThekwini region, Zandile Gumede told her comrades not to scramble for tenders aimed at rebuilding following the recent Durban floods.
Gumede, who is out on bail after she was charged with corruption after she allegedly interfered and financially benefited from a R320 million waste management tender which was issued by the metro while she was the mayor in 2017, said tenders were for “tender” people, not for salivating politicians.
This was in an apparent reference to speculation that some corrupt politicians were lining up their companies to loot public funds set aside to rebuild Durban and parts of KwaZulu-Natal following the floods that left more than 400 people dead, 40000 people displaced and 48 missing.
In her brief speech in Durban on Thursday, where she was celebrating her 61st birthday through a prayer service, Gumede prayed for the ANC’s unity, an end to political killings and other ills engulfing the country.
The prayer service was attended by about 1 500 ANC members, most of them her supporters.
Among the prominent people who attended the prayer was the regional leadership of the ANC which included Musa Nciki, the regional secretary, his deputy, Nkosenhle Madlala, and Thembo Ntuli, Gumede’s deputy.
“We want stability … within the municipal council, we must shine so that our city could deliver better during our difficult times of building infrastructure after the floods.
“We don’t want to see squabbling over tenders. Tenders are not for politicians, but they are for tender people (business people).
“We pray for peace, we don’t want to see councillors being killed,” Gumede told the prayer service.
Speaking about the ever-elusive unity within the governing party, Gumede said members should unite as the public would lose faith in the party if the trend continued.
“The ANC is the leader of the society. If we are fighting amongst ourselves, then later conduct door-to-door campaigns, do you expect people to vote for the ANC?
“Come 2024, we must show the people of South Africa that the ANC is fit to govern. This is the reason why we are praying for a stable and peaceful eThekwini and KZN. If eThekwini is united and stable, KZN will follow suit. If eThekwini is in shambles, so will be KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
Still on ANC unity, Gumede said they were praying for peaceful elective conferences in the Musa Dladla (King Cetshwayo District) and Inkosi Bhambatha (uMzinyathi District) regions.
The former will hold its much-anticipated conference this weekend and several factions are gunning for power, raising fears that this may leave the region in disarray.
“We want to see a peaceful and united Musa Dladla region, we don’t want disunity.
“We only want unity. Down with (the use of money to bribe delegates),” Gumede said.