Former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede is seen greeting her comrades after arriving nearly two hours late for the election and swearing-in of the new eThekwini executive. Picture: Mphathi Nxumalo.
Durban - Former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede made a dramatic entrance to the city's full council meeting on Thursday where voting got underway to elect the new executive.

Gumede, whose absence at the start of proceedings at 10am was noticeable, arrived at the meeting shortly before 12pm. 

She greeted her comrades, many of who smiled and ululated. She was also seen hugging her former deputy Fawzia Peer.

The two hugging was significant as there have been reports that relations between the two had been frosty. 

Gumede is currently fighting corruption charges relating to a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender scandal. Voting for council speaker is still underway as 199 ballots have been printed.

Before the voting started, there was a debate over the process as the ANC wanted a direct vote for the council speaker, while other parties wanted for there to be due process and a presiding officer elected. 

The proceedings are currently being conducted by Sipho Nzuza, who is the city manager and acting chairperson for this full council meeting.

Security have locked the doors of city hall as councillors vote via secret ballot for the new executive. 

The ANC has nominated former Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda as mayor, and former Finance MEC, Belinda Scott as deputy Mayor. Weziwe Thusi has been nominated as speaker.

Gumede along with the entire executive committee of eThekwini Municipality were forced to resign by the provincial ANC last month who cited the city's poor management and performance as reason for the axing.

Gumede who initially resigned, withdrew her resignation last week which forced a  full council meeting that was meant to swear in Kaunda and the new executive to be postponed.
Former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede is seen greeting her comrades after arriving nearly two hours late for the election and swearing-in of the new eThekwini executive. Video: Mphathi Nxumalo.
However, the ANC told Gumede this week that the decision to remove her as mayor of eThekwini would remain.

Gumede is expected to continue as an ordinary councillor.

Daily News