Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has dismissed reports that she wants to come back as mayor after the 2021 local government elections. 

According to the reports, Gumede, who is one of the frontrunners to chair the eThekwini ANC region when it holds its elective conference early next year, is expected to mount a challenge to be nominated as the city's mayor for the second time. 

In a statement, Gumede who was ousted as the metro’s mayor in August this year, said the reports are baseless and misleading and they undermine the work of the ANC and its deployment policy. She said regional conferences of the ANC are not about the metro’s mayoral chains, deployments and employment opportunities, but they are about the ANC leading society. 

“Our role as the ANC in the city is beyond running the municipality. The ANC strives for stability and development of the city, working with national and provincial government, state-owned enterprises, social partners, business, labor and all other stakeholders within the city, including the municipality,” Gumede said. 

According to Gumede, the conference would be conducted in a manner that would enhance unity among members. 

“The upcoming conference is not the first or the last conference of the ANC. It is not a do or die as it is reported. It will be a political school, a festival of ideas and gathering of revolutionaries whose keen interest will be seeing a united and people’s centered movement. The conference must not be reduced into a career contest or job interview. The ANC is not an employment agency,” she said. 

The much-anticipated conference which was supposed to be held this year, but then moved to early next year, is expected to shape slates for the party’s provincial conference in 2022. Contesting against Gumede would be Thabani Nyawose, a staunch loyalist of Cyril Ramaphosa who played a huge provincial role in the run to the 2017 Nasrec conference.

In the Gumede slate, Musa Nciki is touted as the next regional secretary while the Nyawose slate, in the name of continuity, wants to bring back former regional secretary, Bheki Ntuli, to the office.

Political Bureau