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

Durban - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini has launched a bid to force suspended eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, out of office.

If successful, the party would like to see the back of Gumede on July 31 this year when the municipality holds it next council meeting. 

The party’s caucus leader in the council, Nicole Graham, said they have requested that the motion be decided by secret ballot as the culture of political violence and intimidation demands that people be allowed to express their democratic will without fear. 

“We intend to use available provisions of the Structures Act to vote Gumede off the Executive Committee, and thus out of her Mayoral seat. The ANC is not willing to take decisive action against Gumede. The matter of her future has been bandied about for ages, with her 30-day leave now seemingly extended indefinitely. While Gumede is on holiday, eThekwini residents continue to pay her R115 000 per month salary,” Grahama said. 

However, the leader of the backers of Gumede, Mzomuhle Dube, poured cold water on the motion, saying the DA is just passing time and said their motion will not succeed despite the divisions within ANC ranks in the council.

“They should not bank on our divisions to see their motion through as I don’t see our comrades siding with the enemy even when we have our own internal issues,” Dube said.

He reminded the opposition party that the matter of Gumede would only be resolved by the ruling party without the help of the “enemy”.

When asked whether his office has received the motion and whether it will allow it on the agenda, council speaker, William Mapena said their office could not respond to the query.

“Matters submitted through the rules of order are processed according to the rules between the office of the Speaker and the said Councillor. Therefore, the Speaker cannot respond to the query,” Mapena said.

Political Bureau