eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA).
Durban - Just a day after she went on a month’s special leave, suspended eThekwini mayor and soon-to-be former eThekwini regional chairperson Zandile Gumede is expected to make a stunning political comeback as a member of the regional task team (RTT).

Gumede took leave to allow her party to investigate allegations that she fraudulently and corruptly benefited from a R208 million waste tender that landed her in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court last month.

The RTT is expected to be announced on Tuesday when the provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, formally announces the resolutions of the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting and lekgotla held over four days in Empangeni.

The convener (equivalent to regional chairperson) position is expected to be held by Kwazi Mshengu, the current chairperson of the ANC Youth League in the province.

The co-ordinator (equivalent to regional secretary) is expected to be Mluleki Ndobe and the team was expected to include members of the two main factions in the region and prepare for a conference in October.

The faction aligned to Thabani Nyawose, one of the unofficial contenders for the position of regional chair, has submitted six names of people to serve in the task team.

Among the names were Nyawose himself, Mthunzi Dlamini, Joe Thabethe, Sindi Nkontwana and Phumzile Mhlengwa.

A confidant of Nyawose said they were willing to serve in the task team even if Gumede was part of it, as they want to rebuild the region.

“We will not have a problem if she is brought back as a member of the task team because the ANC is trying to balance the task team and prepare for a conference.

“At the end of it all, she is a member of the party, so she can come back,” said a member of the Nyawose campaign.

As part of the faction that is loyal to Gumede, members like Zama Sokhabase, a senior member of the eThekweni Women’s League, was expected to make it.

Two sources close to Gumede said they had not prepared names to be submitted to the balanced task team, but said they would meet later on Monday and the issue would be discussed.

One confidant of Gumede said they expected the PEC to convert the REC to a regional task team. However, they were ready for the task team and would work with it.

The other said their full list would be known by on Monday night.

“We’re going to a meeting this evening (last night) and from there we will come out with our names,” the other confidant of Gumede said.

The outgoing spokesperson of the party in KZN, Nomagugu Simelane- Zulu, did not deny or confirm that Gumede was set for a political comeback.

“We’re hosting a media briefing tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11am. All decisions and resolutions of the PEC will be pronounced there,” Simelane-Zulu said, when asked about the composition of the RTT and the reported inclusion of Gumede.

Gumede did not respond to calls for the better part of yesterday.

A man who claimed to be her bodyguard said she was busy in a meeting.

Mercury