9 June 2019

South Africa: Corruption Charged Mayor Gumede Set to Take 30 Days Leave of Absence

The ANC's provincial executive committee (PEC) in KwaZulu-Natal has recommended that embattled eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede take a 30-day leave of absence and that the regional executive committee be disbanded, according to reports.

The PEC, which is meeting in Empangeni this weekend, reminded Gumede of the party's policy on temporarily stepping aside while charged, eNCA reported.

Gumede told the broadcaster that she would abide by the PEC's decision and take a leave of absence from Monday.

EWN reported that the PEC also resolved to disband the regional executive committee and replace it with a task team.

Gumede is out on R50 000 bail after being arrested for corruption relating to a R230m waste removal tender.

The mayor was ordered to refrain from liaising with officials in several key departments, including supply chain, human resources, legal, finance and Durban Solid Waste.

The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) was reportedly backing her and wanted her to continue as regional chair of the ANC.

"We would support any woman whose rights are violated," ANCWL regional secretary Zama Sokhabase told The Independent on Saturday.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) youth recently marched through Durban, calling for Gumede to step down as corruption allegations against her meant she was "compromised".

"It is the right thing to do. Corruption in Durban has reached epic proportions," said IFP Youth Brigade national chairperson and spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa. "It is no longer sustainable for us to continue in silence. It is not fair to young people or people of eThekwini that money for us is stolen. This money [is] meant to create jobs and grow our economy."

Mayoral spokesperson Mthunzi Gumede previously told News24 that her office maintained she is innocent until proven guilty.

He said her arrest would not affect service delivery and that residents should not panic.

News24

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