Durban - ANC KwaZulu-Natal is yet to decide what action to take against former mayor Zandile Gumede for defying an instruction to resign from eThekwini Municipality’s top position, said party provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu.
Gumede had on Wednesday informed the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) that she had withdrawn her resignation, which she had submitted to the party on Monday.
Mthembu said that Gumede’s letter in which she retracted her resignation was being dealt with by the PEC members. It had been reported that she intended to appeal against her removal as the mayor with the national executive committee (NEC).
However, Mthembu said the NEC and PEC had both been part of processes that led to the removal of senior councillors from eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities based on their poor performances.
It is believed Gumede wanted to be removed by the full council, which had voted her into the position. The majority of the ANC councillors were believed to be backing her.
“The process started from the ANC, which instructs what must happen in the council as she was deployed by the ANC.
“The ANC deployed her and it was confirmed by the council,” said Mthembu.
Mthembu said the affected councillors, including Gumede, did not need to be found by either Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) or Auditor-General Kim Makwetu to be incompetent as the ANC had authority to take its own decision based on its own performance assessment of its deployees.
“We have been conducting assessments, which as a party we have a right to do because the people voted for the ANC not individuals.
“When people talked to the ANC they complained,” said Mthembu.
When pressed to divulge what the ANC assessment had discovered to conclude that they had performed poorly, Mthembu said “there is a lot which we are not prepared to divulge in terms of what happened in the municipalities which prompted us to arrive at this decision”.
“The ANC cannot just arrive at such a critical decision willy-nilly.
“Indeed that (assessment) is informing us to arrive at this decision,” said Mthembu.
Radical Economic Transformation (RET) chairperson Nkosentsha Shezi said the ANC had the right to recall Gumede as the mayor since it was the one that had nominated her for the position. He said Gumede, like former president Jacob Zuma, was a RET champion.
Shezi said it was important that the ANC exercises fairness and transparency when it comes to recalling its deployees.
“Branches must be given a role to play because if we are talking about democracy, it must come from the mandate of the branches.
“Internal democratic processes of the party must be upheld so that we can say we are being led by a democratic organisation.
“We cannot have an organisation that subjects people to kangaroo kind of courts while that organisation is entrusted with the governance of the country,” said Shezi.
He said the RET was yet to meet with Gumede to get clarity on her decision to withdraw her resignation.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the PEC had full authority to make a decision about its deployees.
ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli had during an interview with SAFM on Thursday morning described Gumede’s action as an example of organisational decay.
“It is when a comrade has difficulty separating herself from her party and insulates herself from the party line and party discipline,” said Ntuli.
Ntuli said the party’s provincial working committee would attempt to engage with Gumede and make her understand that “what you are doing is unheard of and it is dangerous”.
“The mayor would be persuaded and as a member of the ANC she would understand that there are far reaching consequences,” said Ntuli on the radio show.