File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA).

IN a swipe aimed at her detractors and some law enforcement agencies, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede says the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are used to settle political scores. 

Gumede, who is out on R50 000 bail together with several other suspects for alleged municipal waste tender corruption, made these claims on Monday in Phoenix where she was addressing what appears to be a gathering of her supporters. 

In a video sent to Independent Media’s political desk late on Tuesday, Gumede said former South African Communist Party (SACP) stalwart, Chris Hani, would be disappointed to learn about the latest developments. 

“If Chris Hani was to wake up today, how do you think he will feel seeing his organisation torn apart by factions? How do you think he would feel seeing his people in the dark because of Eskom’s load shedding? … How would Chris Hani say if we told him that 9 out of 10 times, when a comrade is killed, it is his fellow comrades who killed him? If we told him that comrades now used the Hawks and NPA to settle political scores?” Gumede asked her supporters.

However, the Hawks have previously denied that its pursuit of Gumede was politically motivated and said it purely a matter of fighting corruption. Its spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, told Independent Media on October 10 this year, shortly after raiding Gumede’s Inanda home, that they were decent in the Gumede case as they even summoned her to appear in court instead of grabbing her in front of municipal staff. 

In the same video where she bashed the Hawks and the NPA, Gumede says 2019 has been a “difficult year” for her and ruling party, but she said she pulled through because of the support she got from her backers.

“This has been a difficult year comrades. It was difficult for the organisation and for some of us individually. I want to thank you for your support during those difficult times. I want to assure you that we have emerged stronger from the fire. For a piece of diamond to shine it must first go through a furnace. It is for that reason I think that the idiom that says they tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds that would later germinate, is true.

“We have one weapon against all of these challenges, that is unity. Those who thrive on our disunity are very scared of our unity, they are coming for us, and we need to be prepared to defend the unity of our organisation in this region,” she said.  

Among those present at the gathering was Gumede’s long time loyalist, Zama Sokhabase, a councillor in eThekwini and regional secretary of the ANC’s eThekwini region women's league and Thembo Ntuli, a councillor in the same metro and chairperson of the ANC youth league in the eThekwini region. 

Also present was Musa Nciki, a party member favoured by Gumede’s supporters to take over as regional secretary when the region convenes its elective conference early next year. Ntuli is favoured by Gumede backers to be deputy chairperson.

Political Bureau