KZN ANC clamping down on criminally charged officials, two mayors on leave

2019-06-11 18:13


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The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal appears to be purging itself of leaders who have brought its integrity into question, saying it will not tolerate "minimum standards" any longer.

"[We have suffered] many setbacks along the way. [Just because] many of our comrades were doing things below standard doesn't mean we must normalise it," ANC secretary-general Mdumiseni Ntuli told journalists on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the ANC’s headquarters in Durban, where it was formally announced that embattled eThekwini Metro Mayor Zandile Gumede and Newcastle Mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba have been put on special leave for 30 days commencing on Monday.

Mahlaba, who is accused of murder, was released on R20 000 bail by the Madedeni Magistrate's Court in April.

Gumede faces corruption charges after Hawks investigator Lieutenant Colonel Ngoako Mphaki alleged that she and executive committee councillor Mondli Mthembu were entangled in a web of corruption relating to Durban Solid Waste amounting to R230m.

Ntuli said that it was unclear if either mayor would legally challenge the party’s decision, adding that if they did, the ANC would "have to deal with that".

"We have been explaining this to our comrades. While we subscribe to our legal prudence which dictates innocent until proven otherwise, we are not ordinary people; we are revolutionaries."

What distinguishes us from others?

He said ANC members had "joined the struggle" and should understand the responsibility of being in the ruling party.  

"We are supposed to lead our own members, the opposition and society as a whole. When we call ourselves leaders of society, what distinguishes us from others? It must be because we are not measured by the minimum standards of others."

Ntuli said the party could not allow "comrades to drag us to a lower standard".

"[We cannot say] if you are not guilty as yet, let's not tolerate whatever happens and disregard what society says and how they perceive us. The reason why we declined in this election is because we have lost trust."

He added: "You may not be guilty in court, but a trust deficit emerges in our people. We are saying as the PEC [provincial executive committee], we need to set standards."

Fawzia Peer set to take over

Speaking on succession, Ntuli told News24 on Monday that Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer would likely take over in eThekwini.

"There will have to be someone in that position, preferably the deputy who will be the acting mayor during this period. Once the 30 days are finalised, we will review what to do next."

Read more on:    anc  |  durban  |  corruption  |  crime

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