ANC PEC asks corruption-accused Zandile Gumede to take a leave of absence - sources

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Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
Darren Stewart, Gallo Images
  • The KZN ANC PEC has called on Zandile Gumede to take a leave of absence.
  • Sources tell News24 Gumede has been asked to step aside from both the provincial legislature and her position on the regional task team of the ANC.
  • Gumede is currently out on R50 000 bail on corruption charges.

Former eThekwini mayor turned member of the provincial legislature Zandile Gumede has been asked to take a leave of absence by the ANC's KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC), sources have told News24.

At least three sources told News24 Gumede has been asked to step aside from her positions at the legislature and on the eThekwini regional task team.

The three sources told News24 Gumede has not indicated whether she will comply with the PEC's request.

Sources said there was a proposal that Gumede subject herself to the provincial integrity committee.

It has also emerged that ANC KZN deputy chair Mike Mabuyakhulu has sent a letter to ANC officials of his intent to resign from his position, one source told News24.

READ | Zandile Gumede blames media for denting her name

The PEC held a special meeting on Friday morning shortly before the national executive committee (NEC) and national working committee (NWC) were due to convene.

Corruption is expected to dominate this weekend's NEC meeting after the NWC recommended that those implicated in wrongdoing should step aside from their positions.

The ANC has been at war with itself as allegations of Covid-19-related tender corruption continue to emerge.

Gumede's re-emergence as a provincial official was largely criticised, becoming a thorny issue for the party.

She is currently out on R50 000 bail after she, councillor Mondli Mthembu and others were accused of colluding with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcomes of the supply management protocols of the eThekwini municipality.

News24 reported earlier that the Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit swooped on her and the others' homes, seizing assets and cars.

Shortly after Gumede's swearing in at the KZN legislature, sources inside the PEC told News24 they never discussed her deployment.

The sources said calls for Gumede to be deployed to the legislature to replace Ricardo Mthembu, who died after being infected with Covid-19, came from Luthuli House.

Gumede is known to be a close ally of former president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

ALSO READ | Zandile Gumede deployment a thorny issue for ANC, admits Zikalala

In an interview with the SABC on Tuesday, deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte said the NEC would demand answers from its KwaZulu-Natal leadership on Gumede's redeployment. She said Gumede's redeployment would be discussed extensively during this weekend's NEC meeting.

Meanwhile in Parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa could not respond to questions by DA interim leader John Steenhuisen on Gumede's redeployment. Instead, he said the matter was being handled internally in the party.

The PEC was expected to hold a media briefing at 12:00.

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