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

Five things Zandile Gumede has said in response to calls for her to be axed

By SAMKELO MTSHALI Time of article published Aug 13, 2019

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Durban - With the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal set to officially announce the axing of embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and several other mayors from across the province on Tuesday we look at some of the things Gumede has said since she was arrested and first appeared in court. 

1. Following her initial court appearance on May 15, Gumede was adamant that she would continue as the city’s number one citizen. 

“Right now I am the mayor, and I will continue to be the mayor, as these are mere allegations and investigators are saying they are not done with their investigations. They (ANC) cannot listen to one side and then take a decision. Instead, they must listen to all sides before taking a decision about my position,” she said.

2. With her case on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering being postponed until 15 January 2020 Gumede said that she was being victimised for trying to implement the radical economic transformation framework in eThekwini. 

Speaking to eNCA immediately after the case was postponed, Gumede said: “Our names are being tainted but they haven’t found what they’re looking for. They arrested us before. I feel bad because I thought they would charge us today. Four more months of humiliation as if we’re guilty when we’re not. It’s not good. I am tired of the way this is being reported by the media because you have sentenced me already even though you just heard that there are still no charges. Why are you doing that?”

3. After her appearance at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court last Thursday, Gumede was in a defiant mood and let her detractors know that she was not going to allow them to take over the municipality without a fight. 

“We will not allow this eThekwini Municipality to fall into the wrong hands, which is why we as the branches of the ANC in eThekwini should remain resolute and strong and ensure that our municipality continues being what is supposed to be because there are those who are salivating at the prospect of taking over it,” Gumede said. 

4. Addressing her supporters following her last court appearance on Thursday, Gumede also took the opportunity to plead with KwaZulu-Natal Premier and the ANC’s provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala to “intervene as our leader so that the truth can come out and the people can have clean areas” in relation to the waste tender. 

“We won’t allow our people to suffer because the pockets of certain people are being filled up and when we want justice and things to be done correctly we end up getting arrested,” Gumede said. 

5. As rumours of her axing swirled on Monday night, particularly trending on Twitter, Gumede said that she was unaware that she had been sacked and when contacted by Independent Media for comment on Monday she said that she had not been informed of her sacking by the PEC. She said that she had only seen reports on television and would only respond when the decision was formally communicated to her. 


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