Durban - Former eThekwini mayor and ANC MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Zandile Gumede has distanced herself from rumours that she was one of the many senior ANC politicians who instigated the violence in Durban.
Gumede said those who were linking her to the unrest were political opponents out to tarnish her name. She has laid a case of crimen injuria, so that the police could arrest those behind the rumours.
Her denial comes as the police continue to round up all those who are suspected to have instigated the violence via social media and other means. Six of them have been nabbed for the alleged offences, among them former Ukhozi FM and SABC 1's Roots presenter Ngizwe Mchunu.
“I have laid a formal complaint at Mtshebheni police station, on Monday, to investigate the malicious allegations which are putting my life and that of my family under security threat,” Gumede said.
“These irresponsible persons appear to be pushing an agenda of division and discord within the ranks of the ANC and amongst the citizens of eThekwini region. Through spurious and malicious allegations that I am in some way associated with and or among the instigators of recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
“I deny in the strongest terms and with the contempt that such spurious and unsubstantiated allegations deserve. It is noteworthy that there are no individuals or organized groupings that have had the courage to accept the responsibility for these irresponsible statements and social media posts.”
It appears that Gumede’s detractors, as she calls them, claimed that she was instigating the violence in order to derail her corruption trial by blackmailing the State that should she be found guilty, it would lead to the same havoc as when former president Jacob Zuma was jailed.
But Gumede denied that, saying she wanted to clear her name through a legal court process and in front of the entire world.
“I wish to categorically reaffirm that I am a responsible and dedicated cadre and member of the ANC, and that I have at all times performed my functions and duties as such and have at all times given my full support and obedience to the constitution of the ANC,” Gumede said.
“I have no reason to avoid or derail my pending trial as I have stated confidently that I want the trial to proceed and run its course in order that the truth may prevail and my good name vindicated and restored.”
Meanwhile, as the fallout over the unrest and looting continues, the Umzimvubu Local Municipality in Mount Ayllif, in the Eastern Cape, has slammed its mayor, Sobane Mnukwa, for saying people from KwaZulu-Natal were not welcome to buy food and other goods from businesses within their municipality.
Mnukwa told a local news channel that if people from the neighbouring KwaZulu-Natal province were allowed to buy from their businesses, there would be a food shortage.
His municipality accused him of promoting dangerous regionalism. His comments “have a potential to cause grim divisions,” it said.