Zandile Gumede. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban - Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has retracted her resignation in what the ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe has described as an act of defiance.

KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu had on Thursday told Independent Media that Gumede had written a letter to inform the provincial leadership that she had withdrawn her resignation that she had submitted on Monday. 

“We can confirm that we received the letter that she is withdrawing her resignation. However, we are going to continue as planned with the swearing in of the new mayor, deputy mayor and speaker and all exco councillors next week. 

“The letter is in the hands of the officials who will be dealing with it,” said Mthembu.

Gumede was expected to vacate the city’s top position to make way for newly appointed mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who resigned as transport, community safety and liaison MEC to take up the new position. 

It had been reported that Gumede had withdrawn her resignation with an aim of appealing against her expulsion with the party’s national executive committee (NEC). 

Mabe told SAFM’s Stephen Grootes during the "Sunrise show" on Thursday morning that Gumede’s action was tantamount to defiance against the party’s decisions. 

“It would be an act of defiance. Once the provincial executive committee has taken a decision to withdraw its deployees from performing certain responsibilities and went out to advise them, convey its decision to the public and been accepted by those deployees at that point the decision is understood to have been taken,” Mabe told the show.

He said Gumede had portrayed the ANC as a party that was not coherent in its decision making.

“Imagine we go back to the public and say the PEC decision has now been suspended. This undermines the authority of the PEC to make decisions.

“We can only lead if our authority is exerted accordingly and respected and embraced by those we are supposed to be leading,” said Mabe.    

Party provincial secretary Mdumuseni Ntuli also told Grootes that he could not believe his eyes when he received the resignation withdrawal letter on Wednesday.

“She actually sent me a letter, and I was unable to get hold of her because initially when I got her letter it sounded very funny and I said this must not be true. 

“I called her and also sent an SMS saying ‘I received a letter here, and I am worried that this might not be your own letter’, but a few minutes later I discovered that the very same letter had also been sent by her personal assistant to the municipality, and then I was sure that it was indeed a letter from her,” Ntuli told Grootes.