Suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The ANC has remained silent on the anticipated return to office of embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, whose 30 days leave is ending.

The mayor is set for a triumphant return to the city hall on Wednesday morning and the eyebrow raising return is anticipated by both her supporters inside and outside the municipality as well her foes in the ANC and the municipality.

Gumede was placed on leave on June 10 this year to allow the party to look at her corruption charges emanating from a 2017 R208 million waste tender from the municipality. Her supporters alleged the charges were politically motivated.

Gumede herself did not want to say whether she would return to the office. She said she would make a public statement when the need arose.

“I have your numbers and when there is a need to say something, I will call all of you media people and let you know,” Gumede said. She refused to expand or say whether she was looking forward to resuming her duties on Wednesday.

A confidante of Gumede said they were expecting her to resume her duties mainly because the ANC PEC which can take final decisions has not done so. The confidante said they had also been bolstered by the strong stance by branches during their recent meeting with the party’s provincial working committee (PWC) when it tried to strongarm them to accept a decision to force Gumede out.

“All indications for now show that she will be back at work when the suspension expires and we are looking forward to it. The ANC in the province knows that it cannot prevent her from returning to office,” the confidante said.

Acting mayor Fawzia Peer told Independent Media on Sunday that the ANC had not said anything to her about holding the fort beyond the July 10 period.

Political Bureau