Zandile Gumede. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - With the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal set to confirm its axing of embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede at a press briefing it has scheduled for Tuesday, Twitter has been abuzz with news of the removal of the most senior person at the province's only Metro.

On Sunday and Monday the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee had been holed up in a meeting, deliberating Gumede’s future and the futures of several other mayors in the province including Newcastle mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mashaba and Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo.

Gumede, who is currently out on R50 000 bail, is facing fraud related charges in connection with a 2016 R208 million Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender and is set to return to the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on 15 January 2020.  

Under the #ZandileGumede on Twitter Khulekani Ngcobo (@marazo_s) posted “James Nxumalo having a last laugh”, in reference to Gumede’s predecessor who was ousted from the mayoral position following a bruising eThekwini ANC regional conference in 2015. 

@IsaacNathi posted: “The time for everyone to turn his/her back against the #ANC is now. #Ramaphosa went to argue that he doesn’t know how to fire the most corrupt #PravinGordhan but when it comes to the most dedicated leaders like #ZandileGumede it is easy.”

Isaac Bazooka (@isaac_hlungwana) questioned the timing and reasons for Gumede’s axing, posting: “The timing and reasons of firing #ZandileGumede its just clear the puppet Ramaphosa got an instruction from his handlers. If @MYANC is consistent with that approach all mayors deployed by them to municipalities can be equally fired. All their municipalities are in bad state.”

Ayabonga Kekana (Ayabonga_Kekana) questioned Gumede’s sacking saying that she was yet to be found guilty by a court of law, posting: “Will the KZN ANC remove #ZandileGumede on basis that she’s facing corruption charges or what? If so, then what happened to innocent until proven otherwise?”

Keith Adam Mohamed commended the PEC’s decision to fire Gumede calling the decision a good move. He posted: “Very good move by @MYANC @ANCKZN PEC to fire disgraced mayor #ZandileGumede along with other failed mayors in the province. Hopefully they will not simply be reshuffled to loot and destroy elsewhere.”

Another concern amongst Twitterati was that the jostling for Gumede’s position and those set to be vacated by other mayors in the province could plunge the province into a crisis of politically-related murders. 

@Sam_Morota posted: “Eish now ANC KZN will be killing each other for the position”, while @BSpecial_One wrote: “Bullets are going to fly there in KZN shem! Everyone must beef up their security.”

IOL