DA playing 'dirty' in eThekwini deputy mayor row - mayor

2017-03-15 21:12
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has lashed out at the DA for its "divisive, dirty tricks" aimed at destabilising the ANC in eThekwini.

She was responding to DA regional caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango, who claimed that Gumede does not trust her deputy, Fawzia Peer, and that that was the reason the mayor had not appointed Peer as acting mayor while she was away in the United States this week.

Earlier this week the DA interrupted proceedings during eThekwini's exco council meeting after learning that Gumede had appointed chairperson of the municipality's human settlements and infrastructure development committee Mondli Mthembu as acting mayor. 

The DA demanded to know why Peer was not acting mayor, citing legislation which states she held that position in the absence of the mayor.

A visibly embarrassed Peer eventually persuaded all members to allow the meeting to continue without responding on the matter.

"It is cheap political scoring which is typical of the DA. There is no tension or division between the two women. Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer has been doing a great job in her role and has championed the cause of tackling crime. Mayor Zandile often delegates her duties and to suggest that she doesn't trust Peer is pure mischief by the DA. It is typical of a divide and rule tactic which we cannot entertain. If councillor Peer was not trusted, she would not have been appointed deputy mayor," Gumede's spokesperson Mthunzi Gumede told News24.

Call for investigation

In her response, Peer also hit back at the DA over allegations of factionalism within the ANC in the region, saying she had an "excellent" relationship with Gumede.

"The mayor and I work very well as women together and we have discussions all the time. It is not true to suggest otherwise or to claim that I am not trusted because I belonged to another faction. That is yet another ploy by the DA to cause disunity within the council," said Peer.

However, Mncwango is not backing down and has said he will be calling for an official investigation into the conduct of Gumede and eThekwini council speaker, Lekgoa William Mapena.

"The ANC denied that someone other than the deputy mayor was appointed acting mayor when we asked about this in council. The speaker lied and misled exco. A member of the ANC in eThekwini leaked a copy of the letter sent by the mayor to ANC exco members where she confirms Mthembu as acting mayor in her absence. 

"Of course we all know the ANC will deny claims of factionalism but it's there. Council is not a spaza shop and we will not allow the mayor to run it like one. I will be writing to MEC for corporate governance and traditional affairs [Nomusa Dube-Ncube] asking her to investigate this matter," said Mncwango.

Gumede is in the United States attending a climate change conference in her capacity as vice president of the C40 cities in Africa. She is due back later this week. 

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  durban  |  politics

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