The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has announced that at least 12 members facing criminal charges, including former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, have agreed to step aside – in line with the party’s contentious policy.
The ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) held a media briefing on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 – and reaffirmed its support for the policy, which has undoubtedly divided members.
Gumede – one of the most prominent ANC members in the province – is one of several facing corruption charges in relation to a R450 million waste collection tender awarded during her tenure. The co-accused in the matter include suspended eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza, his wife Bagcinele, senior ANC councillor, Mondli Mthembu as well as councillors.
“These comrades have also accepted the decision of the national executive committee as the highest organ of our movement between conferences and agreed to step aside pending the finalisation of their court cases,” ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said.
ANC KZN says Zandile Gumede accepted decision
The party’s provincial deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu had been the only known member in KZN to voluntarily step aside from his position. Ntuli said Zandile Gumede had accepted the NEC decision to step aside.
“As I had expected, she has warmly welcomed the decision of the ANC and accepted it without any difficulties,” he said.
Ntuli said individual meetings were held with the members to discuss the NEC’s decision.
“There has not been a decision effectively to that direction… in the event where they’re nominated by some of our branches, we can’t stop that process,” he said.
Ntuli added that ANC KZN members would not be allowed to take part in any party activities and meetings during this period.
“If you’re in any of the legislative bodies, whether in Parliament or in council, the first condition is that you must resign from any additional responsibilities allocated to you by virtue of being a member of the legislature or council,” he said.