Durban - Speaking ahead of her much-anticipated court appearance on Thursday morning, suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has implied that the corruption and fraud charges laid against her are politically motivated and when the time is right, she "will talk”.
This assertion concurs with the suspicions of her loyal supporters who often claim that she was criminally charged in a bid to eliminate her from the mayoral position. This prevented from returning as eThekwini ANC regional chairperson, a powerful political position in the entire party.
Addressing her Methodist church members and supporters from the ANC during a prayer session held at KwaMashu in the north of Durban, Gumede who spoke mainly in biblical parables, said people have been pleading with her to talk instead of facing the fire alone, but opted to remain silent.
“Some people are saying to me 'please talk, why are you keeping quiet and finding yourself in trouble alone?'. Name them because you know them. I just say to them 'I know the God I am worshipping, I am just waiting for the right time which is known by my God,'” Gumede said in Zulu.
The prayer service was billed to be held at the G2 Methodist church but it was later moved when the local leadership of the church refused to host it, saying it cannot be seen as supporting people who are accused of corruption.
Using the biblical story of Abednego, Shadrack and Meshack and three men who thrown into a fire by King Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, but emerged victorious herself she will emerge victorious one day and those persecuted her will one day come back to
“When we get into the box tomorrow we will not be alone, but will be with a fourth man,” she told the congregation.
In the short address meant to thank her pastors and supporters, Gumede said that she, along with senior eThekwini councillor Mondli Mthembu and another KZN mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba of Newcastle, are the three most persecuted members of the ANC.
“In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the devil is attacking three people who know each, but we know that the devil will be defeated. It’s Zandile Gumede, Mondli Mthembu and the mayor of Newcastle, Junda (Mahlaba’s name in politics)… All of us know that one day the truth will come out.”
Gumede is expected to address the supporters immediately after appearing in court.
Speaking to the media on arrival at a night vigil, Gumede said the ANC in KZN has not informed her of the decision to extend her leave of absence until the provincial executive committee meets over the weekend.
This contradicts to what the provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said on Tuesday during a press conference to announce the outcome of their weekend meeting.