File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

Durban - Zandile Gumede supporters held an emergency meeting on Monday to chart a fightback strategy. They resolved she should leave the mayor position and turn her focus to the regional conference. 

Two insiders, one part of the meeting and another close to Gumede confirmed that she had resigned. 

The attempts to reach the ANC were unsuccessful but ANC spokesperson, Ricardo Mthebu, told another publication that resignations were coming in. 

There were concerns she might choose to fight for her position after she allegedly “missed” the deadline set by the provincial secretary of the ANC, Mdumiseni Ntuli.

Gumede and her deputy Fawzia Peer, speaker William Mapena  and members of their Executive Committee had been ordered by the ANC to hand in their resignation by 12 pm on Monday.

She was ousted by the ANC from her position as mayor two weeks ago and is expected to be replaced by Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda at a special council meeting expected on Thursday.

“We have told her that she should resign as the Mayor, she will now be an ordinary councillor,” said the source who was at the meeting.

The source said they had contemplated fighting her removal in court.

“We would have been successful if we had taken that route. The objective was to have  the provincial Executive Committee's (PEC) decision declared unlawful and irrational. 

"That would have challenged not only Gumede's removal but of the entire Executive Committee that is where we have a problem. She can't fight this as an individual but at the same time she cannot fight to save that Exco that had already been disloyal towards her.

“Even if she won in court it would not be the same for her and she would go back to working with that exco, that was not good and we told her that she should resign,” said the source.

The source said Gumede will focus her energies on retaining her position as chairperson of the region. 

“The mayoral position is a deployment of the ANC, but the ANC cannot dictate to branches on who they should pick and Gumede still has a lot of support from the branches,” said the source. 

Gumede spokesperson Mthunzi Gumede said they note the statements made about Gumede resignation but at this stage she would like to reserve her comment on the matter. 

The Mercury