DURBAN - NEWLY elected chairperson of the ANC eThekwini region and former mayor Zandile Gumede said she would continue to abide by the ANC’s stepaside regulation, despite assuming her new leadership position.
The party’s step-aside rule sidelines leaders facing criminal charges, pending the outcomes of their cases.
Gumede and her co-accused are facing 2 786 charges relating to a 2017 Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender amounting to more than R320 million. The trial has been set for July 13 to August 31 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Gumede was charged in May 2019 while she was still eThekwini mayor. She formally resigned as mayor in August 2019 after being recalled by the ANC. She was replaced by Mxolisi Kaunda. In 2020 the ANC appointed Gumede as a member of the KZN provincial legislature.
Gumede yesterday said she had already abided by the regulation by participating in absentia in the recent eThekwini conference. “I have already complied … I was elected while I was abiding by the step-aside regulation.
“We have to abide by whatever position the movement takes … when the leader gets cleared, then they can fully assume their position. Leaders must lead by example,” Gumede said.
However, she said nothing was stopping her and her deputy chairperson Tembo Ntuli from having discussions.
“It is about the collective and he is doing very well. He has been working hard to help in flood affected areas.”
Gumede said she was visiting communities affected by flood damage as a member of the provincial legislature and also as a volunteer of the ANC.
Yesterday, she visited the Foreman Road informal settlement and said more needed to be done in eThekwini to address ageing infrastructure
Mandla Msibi, elected Mpumalanga ANC treasurer at a recent provincial conference, also indicated he would abide by the step-aside regulations. Msibi had voluntarily stepped aside last year after he was charged and arrested following a shooting in Mbombela in August. He is facing charges of double murder and attempted murder.