Zandile Gumede: Picture: IOL archives
Zandile Gumede: Picture: IOL archives

EDITOR'S NOTE: What legacy has Mama Gumede created for herself?

By Mazwi Xaba Time of article published Aug 17, 2019

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Durban - It was a great moment of history when Stephanie Frappart walked on to the field in Istanbul to referee the European Super Cup final between English titans Chelsea and Liverpool this week.

Such moments leave one feeling good and optimistic about our transforming societies. By the same token, it’s always sad when a woman falls from grace. Even worse when it happens during our national Women’s Month.

Outgoing mayor Zandile Gumede will go down in history as the first woman mayor of our beautiful city of eThekwini during the democratic era and the first woman chairperson of the ANC’s biggest region. But what else?

There’s not much to say about the other two former women mayors of this great city, Margaret Winter and Sybil Hotz, except that they broke the pale-male ceiling.

I know comparisons can be grossly unfair or downright odious. Winter played a part in the transitional period. Hotz was no freedom fighter. She was no Victoria Mxenge. But she did help in the dismantling of “petty apartheid” .

While grand apartheid kept us subjugated, libraries, cinemas and beaches were opened to us all.

What legacy is Mama Gumede leaving behind?

Mounds of uncollected rubbish, sewage and plastic litter on our beaches, harbour and rivers? But let’s allow Mama to first clear her name, as she said she would, before inscribing her legacy in the scrolls of history.

The Independent on Saturday

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