Suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The Democratic Alliance has slammed eThekwini Municipality council Speaker William Mapena for failing to table their motion to remove suspended city mayor Zandile Gumede as a member of the council's EXCO and effectively as mayor. 

During a full council sitting at the City Hall on Wednesday, DA caucus leader in eThekwini Nicole Graham, brought forward the motion but Mapena had not added the item to the agenda. 

Graham said she submitted an intention to move the motion on July 17, two weeks before the full council sitting. 

"The Speaker acknowledged that the item had been received and later said that all substantive motions are regulated by the rules of order by-law. To date, he has not communicated why the motion was disallowed or any other details. He also refused to explain why in council," she said. 

Graham said if there was some kind of procedural issue, Mapena should have responded accordingly. 

"Councillors are entitled in law to bring motions to remove councillors from the executive committee, and accordingly to remove mayors and deputy mayors. This is not an ordinary motion, but an important provision in law to remove elected office bearers. We believe that the Speaker is duty-bound to have tabled this motion. He must protect the legal and constitutional rights of councillors in the chamber," she said. 

Graham accused the ANC of being unable and unwilling to address the mayor's standing. 

Later in the meeting, when city manager Sipho Nzuza was reading out the list of councillors who had either recused themselves from the meeting or could not attend, Graham questioned whether Gumede had submitted her letter for not attending the meeting. 

Graham's questions were reiterated by IFP councillor, Mdu Nkosi. 

Both asked if Gumede and her co-accused, councillor Mondli Mthembu, had furnished letters for their absence. 

The matter was once again overruled by Mapena. 

Gumede and Mthembu are both out on bail relating to corruption charges. They, along with the co-accused, are due back in court on August 8.

Gumede was placed on special leave by the ANC almost two months ago.

The Mercury