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Zandile Gumede supporters concerned about discussions at NWC meeting

EThekwini regional chairperson and former mayor Zandile Gumede. File Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo

EThekwini regional chairperson and former mayor Zandile Gumede. File Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Published May 19, 2022

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DURBAN - SUPPORTERS of eThekwini regional chairperson and former mayor Zandile Gumede said any amendments to the step-aside resolution of the ANC should avoid a situation where it appears that people are being deliberately targeted.

This was in response to media reports that an ANC National Working Committee meeting on Monday was split over whether to have Gumede and Mpumalanga ANC treasurer Mandla Msibi vacate their positions.

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Gumede and her co-accused are facing 2 786 charges relating to a 2017 Durban Solid Waste tender amounting to more than R320 million. The trial has been set for July 13 to August 31.

Gumede was charged in May 2019 while still eThekwini mayor. She formally resigned as mayor in August 2019 after being recalled by the ANC.

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.

The National Executive Committee of the ANC amended the step-aside resolution after both Gumede and Msibi were elected at their respective conferences, to say that those facing charges could not stand for a leadership position, but at the time it was unclear how this would affect them.

According to reports, attempts at the national working committee (NWC) to have Gumede and Msibi vacate their positions were thwarted.

Gumede said she had not been consulted by the NWC.

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“No one has discussed the issue of me stepping down from my role. I am on the road helping people with many issues,” she said.

Mondli Mkhize, spokesperson of the ANC eThekwini Regional Executive Committee, chaired by Gumede, said while they appreciated that the framework of the resolution had to be developed now and again, they did not want a situation where it appeared it was done deliberately to target people.

“In eThekwini we have taken a decision to support Gumede to be in the Top Five in the province. This attempt was not successful at the NWC … it does not negate more attempts to try to get her to resign,” Mkhize said.

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He said this can be interpreted as “playing the player and not the ball”.

“Leadership must lead responsibly, fairly and in the interests of everyone. This resolution is developing as events are developing and unfortunately these developments are taking place alongside conferences.

“When ANC resources are used to manage the outcomes of conferences, then you have problems,” Mkhize said.

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ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said they had not received any formal communication from the NWC.

“We cannot pre-empt discussions of the higher structures until they communicate those decisions,” he said.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said the recent developments at the NWC revealed an element of desperation.

“They want to remove any obstacle that is not desired … we are starting to see all the machinations that will influence the outcome of the December conference,” Seepe said.

He said it was unconstitutional to determine that someone charged with a crime was automatically guilty.

“The mere fact that attempts to take this decision at the NWC did not pass shows that some people are sober in their decision-making.”

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