File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archive.

Durban - Supporters of the embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede have marched in their numbers to the ANC’s provincial headquarters in Durban on Friday.

There was a strong police presence as the supporters, who came in their numbers, marched to the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial headquarters.

Some of the banners they carried read ‘NPA and Hawks used to settle political scores’ as a sea of green and gold swept through parts of the Durban CBD.

Gumede’s supporters were demanding a meeting with ANC KZN’s provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala. It has been alleged, and later denied by Zikalala, that he had knowledge in Gumede’s arrest.

Gumede was arrested earlier this week on graft charges relating to a R200m Durban Solid Waste tender. He was released on R50 000 bail at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court.

They also want Gumede to remain in her job as mayor as pressure mounts on her to step down.

ANC KZN spokesperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, blamed DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango for the march and for purportedly causing divisions in the party.

She said he had named ANC KZN leaders in the Gumede matter, causing confusion amongst supporters.

“Fresh from a humiliating defeat in the general elections, Mncwango is attempting to resuscitate his dying political career by spreading lies about ANC leaders.

“As the ANC we are comforted by the fact that Cde Sihle Zikalala has approached law enforcement agencies to establish the identity of the voices in an audio clip that is circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

“The two males, one purporting to be working with the Hawks, mentions Zikalala’s name in an attempt to create the impression that he knew about the arrest of the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality Cllr Zandile Gumede and eThekwini Regional Chairperson,” she said.

Simelane-Zulu accused Mncwango of rumour mongering.

Meanwhile, the City Press reported on Friday that the ANC’s Integrity Commission had asked Gumede to step down as mayor of eThekwini.

Independent On Saturday