Controversial eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will be taking a leave of absence from Monday following a resolution by the ANC’s provincial executive committee in KwaZulu-Natal.
Gumede appeared in the Durban specialised commercial crimes court last month on fraud-related charges in connection with a R208m solid-waste tender in the city. She is out on R50‚000 bail.
The PEC‚ which met in Empangeni at the weekend‚ resolved on Sunday that Gumede should step down for 30 days to allow the governing party time to finalise processes of an internal investigation.
Provincial chair Sihle Zikalala said the PEC had taken the decision that anyone who is charged with a serious case should step down to allow the ANC to finalises processes within 30 days.
“Without saying comrades who are charged are guilty‚ we as the PEC have taken a view that anyone who is charged for any serious case will have to step down.
“The ANC should finalise those processes within 30 days‚ and that stepping down means‚ a comrade charged must take a leave‚ but if a comrade is not taking a voluntarily leave the ANC will be compelled to remove that comrade and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person.”
Gumede is reported to have told EWN that she would abide with the PEC ruling.
“I’ve been consulting with my lawyers because the issues are in court. So after the resolution of our ANC provincial executive committee‚ from Monday I’m going to be a taking a leave of absence‚” she said.
The resolution will also impact on Newcastle mayor Nthuhuko Mahlaba‚ who is out on R20‚000 bail after being arrested in connection with the 2016 murder of former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) official Wandile Ngobeni.
The PEC also disbanded the ANC eThekwini region.