Zandile Gumede placed on leave to protect integrity of ANC - KZN party leadership

2019-06-10 11:30

The decision by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal that eThekwini Metro Mayor Zandile Gumede be placed on leave for 30 days was taken to maintain the integrity of the ruling party.

"We have to ensure that at all material times, those who represent our people enjoy the confidence and support of our people. They must also display impeccable integrity, beyond reproach. When they are [criminally] charged, that has a direct impact on this," KwaZulu-Natal ANC secretary general Mdumiseni Ntuli told News24 on Monday.

READ: Corruption-charged eThekwini mayor Gumede set to take 30 days leave of absence

During the party's provincial lekgotla in Empangeni over the weekend, it was revealed that Gumede was stepping aside for the one-month period.

She was asked to vacate office by the provincial executive, who also resolved to disband the regional executive committee and replace it with a task team.

Gumede is out on R50 000 bail after being arrested for corruption relating to a R230m waste removal tender.

'Deeper understanding'

Ntuli said the party had to ensure public confidence in the ANC, but also give Gumede the benefit of the doubt.

"Those that are charged are not always found guilty. In balancing the two - [public confidence and innocent before proven guilty] - we decided she would have to vacate the office and take leave of absence for 30 days."

He said that, during the one-month period, the party and it structures would be able to gain a "deeper understanding" of Gumede's case.

"We will be able to ascertain how the charging of a comrade will impact their ability to conduct their duties. We must remember that we are not in office because we have a right to be there, but because you were voted for by the people. We have to listen to the people. This is the kind of reflection we will be doing [in the 30 days]."

Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer would probably take over in the meantime, Ntuli said.

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

Ntuli said that public representatives had to uphold standards based on the Constitution.

"This is the standard we must uphold if we are to be an inspiration and people whose hopes we represent."

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Read more on:    anc  |  zandile gumede  |  durban  |  corruption
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