ANC KZN to remove ‘implicated’ members

2019-06-11 15:00
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (Gallo Images)

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (Gallo Images)

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The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will be initiating processes to remove councillors and mayors who have been implicated in political killings in the province.

The decision, which came after at least two of the ANC’s implicated public representatives defied the party’s instructions to step down, was taken by the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC) during an extended three-day meeting that started in Empangeni on Friday.

In March the ANC provincial leadership ordered Msunduzi Municipality ward councillor Nkosinathi “TK” Gambu and Newcastle Mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba to resign within a month. However, Gambu, who has been charged with the murder of ANC Pietermaritzburg activist Msawenkosi “Maqatha” Mchunu, and Mahlaba, who has been charged with the murder ANC Youth League (ANCYL) eMalahleni regional leader Wandile Ngubeni, have so far defied the party leadership’s orders.

Both Mahlaba and Ngobeni have argued that removing them from office was against the ANC constitution that stipulates that action against a party member should only be taken once the individual had been found guilty in a court of law.

However, a member of the PEC who spoke on condition of anonymity said the decision to remove ANC members who have been accused of serious crimes was meant to preserve the party’s integrity.

“The issue of corruption and political killings has become a serious matter within the ANC in this province. The ANC leadership has a duty to demonstrate that these matters are being taken seriously by the party — this is not about individuals but about the image of the ANC,” the PEC member said.

According to estimates, more than 100 political activists have been assassinated in the province since 2012.

The spate of political killings in the province last year resulted in President Cyril Ramaphosa establishing a team of investigators called the political killings task team.

Reporting to Police Minister Bheki Cele, the task team has so far arrested more than 160 people in connection with the ongoing political killings.

Another top ANC figure who had been arrested by the task team was KZN Legislature Deputy Speaker Mluleki Ndobe, who has since been released due to insufficient evidence.

Ndobe, who at the time of his arrest in March was Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor, had been charged with the murder of former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa — who was ambushed in his hometown of uMzimkhulu in 2017.

ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala confirmed that action would be taken against ANC leaders who had failed to heed the party’s call for them to step down.

“If that comrade doesn’t follow that decision, it will mean we will have to recall that comrade, and not recalling him or her through negotiation, but recalling through convening the structure and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person,” he said.

The PEC also resolved that eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, who is currently out on R50 000 bail following her arrest in connection with R200 million tender fraud, should be placed on special leave.

Gumede, who is also the ANC eThekwini regional chairperson, has since agreed to take leave with immediate effect.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn anc

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