ANC welcomes Zandile Gumede to KZN Legislature, but DA 'disgusted'

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Published Aug 19, 2020

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Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said on Wednesday it welcomed the appointment of corruption accused former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to the provincial legislature.

Gumede was sworn in as an MPL earlier in the day, taking the place of former ANC KZN spokesperson, Ricardo Mthembu, who died of Covid-19 in July.

She is currently out on R50 000 bail for her alleged role in a Durban Solid Waste tender scandal that involved other councillors, officials, and service providers. The revised amount for the allegedly looted money stands at R389 million, but investigators have said the number could increase as the probe continues.

"The ANC KZN is fully aware of detractors who will seek to use Cde Gumede's ongoing court case to criticise the appointment, however, we subscribe to the notion of innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in our justice system and, as such, there is nothing untoward about the appointment of Cde Gumede.

“As a firm believer in women empowerment, the ANCKZN is confident that Cde Gumede, with her experience, is a worthwhile addition to the Legislature," said the party in a short statement after the swearing in.

The DA's eThekwini caucus leader, Nicole Graham, called Gumede's appointment "a slap in the face of every eThekwini resident, and indeed of every resident of KZN who now has to foot the bill for Gumede’s lifestyle".

"The Democratic Alliance is disgusted by the ANC’s move to elect Zandile Gumede to a cushy seat in the KZN Legislature," said Graham.

"It is obvious that the former mayor is a powerful figure in the ANC who has protection in high places. Why else would she earn a promotion back to the legislature when her absolute disgraceful behaviour is so clear for all to see?"

The ANC removed Gumede from her position as mayor last year, although it said it did so because she, and her administration, had not performed to expected standards. It said the charges she faced had noting to do with the decision. The charges against Gumede, and the ANC taking weeks to finally remove her, caused an unprecedented outcry amongst the public.

African News Agency/ANA

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