Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has promised that it will take a final decision Sunday on embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who has been on a leave of absence for two months while her party has been deliberating on her future.
ANC provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said Gumede’s matter would be discussed at a special provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting to be held in Durban tomorrow.
“As we are meeting on Sunday we will be taking decisions on each case,” said Mthembu.
The fraud and corruption case against Gumede, municipality infrastructure committee chairperson Mondli Mthembu and their co-accused was postponed on Thursday to January next year.
They are charged in connection with a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender.
Mthembu said the Gumede matter would not be the only one to be discussed as there were other “comrades who are alleged to have broken the law to also be discussed”.
When asked if Gumede and other ANC government officials who are in trouble with the law would be removed from their positions, Mthembu said “that would be guessing on what the PEC is going to decide”.
“We should wait for the PEC to discuss, and from there we would know what the decisions are,” he said.
He said Gumede’s supporters who had threatened to go to court if Gumede was removed from her position had the right to do so.
“We will deal with that when we are taken to court. But when we deployed people, the court was not involved.
“People should wait for the PEC to take a decision it is tasked to take,” said Mthembu.
IFP caucus leader for eThekwini Municipality Mdu Nkosi had alleged that Gumede and Mondli’s forced leave of absence was illegal since it had not been approved by the full council.
However, Mthembu said those who were forced to take a leave of absence should have written to the council applying for leave.
Nkosi said eThekwini Municipality was like a choir without its conductor.
“The ANC mishandled the matter by forcing her and Mondli to leave as their leave should have been granted by the council after they applied.
“When they come back, as the IFP we are going to demand that they produce their leave of absence forms which they signed because you have to fill a form and sign it. I challenged the speaker to show us if the two applied for leave but the speaker refused to show us,” said Nkosi.
He said if the mayor and her co-accused did not sign the leave forms it would mean that they absconded from work.
“This would mean that automatically these two people should no longer be councillors as they have to be removed because they had not attended three consecutive meetings without approval,” he said.
Council Speaker Lekgoa Mapena said he previously told the IFP to direct questions to the secretariat.
“I cannot answer you about the leave of individuals. I told the meeting that I don’t want to enter the fray of the leave of absence because they (IFP) know the process of the leave of absence.
“The IFP know how to get register (of leave of absence). This thing is an issue of politics and I cannot be involved in politics of parties because I am the speaker,” said Mapena.