ANC supporters tell Gumede not to step aside
Durban - Two weeks before ANC members who have been criminally charged step aside, supporters of Zandile Gumede, the former eThekwini mayor and KZN legislature MPL, have told her to stay put.
The supporters said Gumede has a suffered enough and she was cleared by the KZN provincial integrity commission to resume her party duties.
Gumede and 20 others are facing corruption, money laundering and fraud charges emanating from a questionable waste contract of R320 million (VAT excluded) in 2017. At that time, Gumede was the mayor of eThekwini. The State alleges that she and several of her family members accepted bribes from some of the service providers.
Gumede and her supporters deny the charges. They said the case had been set for trial in the Durban High Court in June this year and they expected her to be cleared on the charges.
While it is unclear whether Gumede’s name is part of the 13 submitted to Luthuli House (ANC national headquarters) by Mdumiseni Ntuli, the KZN ANC provincial secretary, her supporters have stated that asking her to step aside would be wrong.
Speaking to Independent Media, the spokesperson of the supporters, Ntando Khuzwayo (a pro-Zandile Gumede councillor in eThekwini municipality), advanced 13 reasons why she should not step aside.
Among them was that the ANC in the province acted in a factional manner and victimised her before eventually firing her as the mayor in August 2019.
“After her appointment to the legislature, she was immediately asked to step aside for the third time and was subjected to a provincial integrity commission process which later cleared her. She returned to the legislature and now, in 2021, the ANC has submitted her name for a fourth round of step aside.
“In its statement, the PEC (provincial executive committee) acknowledged that the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) was wrong to arrest Zandile Gumede and later charge her,” Khuzwayo said.
ANC members supporting former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede says she should not step aside as expected. Among other the reasons they stated is that the resolution should be first taken to the NGC before being implemented. They also say she will win her pending court case. @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@NewsBotZA) April 19, 2021
Furthermore, Khuzwayo said the objectives of the step-aside resolution was not clear and the resolution itself should be subjected to the scrutiny of the pending national general council (NGC).
“Zandile Gumede should never allow another fourth wave of step aside until the ANC decides what exactly it seeks to implement (achieve). Like other resolutions, this one must be taken to the NGC for reaffirmation with guidelines. She cannot be charged under Rule 25 while she is attending court. The ANC must not allow itself to use rules for factional ends, it must use the rules to promote unity.”
Khuzwayo added that their proposal to the ruling party was that the ANC should act against Gumede only if she was found guilty.
“Should she be found guilty, the ANC can then ask her to step aside if she has no appetite to appeal.”