Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 09-07-2019
As Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede prepares to return to work, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has requested the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in Ethekwini Sipho Hlomuka to urgently put the province under administration and eventually dissolve it as too many people have been implicated in corruption.
Gumede was forced to take a 30-day leave of absence.
In May, Gumede appeared before the city’s Commercial Crimes Court on fraud charges related to a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender in which 62 councilors were also implicated.
She is out on fifty thousand bail and is expected back in court in August.
The DA's Mbali Ntuli says while the mayor has vowed to return to work after the period of forced leave, the party is not taking her return lying down.
“There’s no way given that the mayor and sixty two councilors who are the political leadership in that province can continue to function. So it’s very clear that either politically or administratively there is no leadership in this council and we cannot continue to do away with the things that’s been happening.”
Ntuli says while they do not welcome the mayor back to work, she was not removed by the council.
“It was completely an ANC decision to remove her. There were no terms of reference given as to what it going to happen, nothing has happened within those 30 days and it seems like it was a political ploy that was part of the factionalism that was happening in that region to remove her.”
The ANC’s provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said they would make an announcement regarding Gumede once they knew the outcome of an internal party investigation that allegations against Gumede and Newcastle Local Municipality mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba were politically motivated.
Listen to the interview with Mbali Ntuli