P2 - 'You are not born deployed' - ANC KZN says as Zandile Gumede faces criminal charges
11 June 2019
The likelihood that embattled eThekwini Metro Mayor Zandile Gumede will return to the top position in the City of Durban is slim.
That is if statements made on Tuesday by ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary-general Mdumiseni Ntuli is anything to go by.
In a press briefing following the provincial ANC lekgotla over the weekend, Ntuli fielded a barrage of questions on Gumede and the future of the City’s leadership.
Ntuli said that while the party would redeploy leaders who were found innocent in criminal matters, positions in public office were ultimately a collective party decision.
"If you are found to be not guilty, the ANC will deploy you somewhere else. If you have difficulties that are impacting negatively on the public standing of the ANC, then the ANC must get someone else to assume your responsibilities and move forward."
Ntuli said ANC members were serving the people, not themselves.
"When [you are] exonerated, the ANC will see what will be done with you. That is what we are saying to comrades. You are not born deployed; these things are not your rights. It is a privilege and honour. It is a service to our people."
Gumede was officially put on a 30-day special leave period as mayor on Monday.
She was asked to vacate her office by the provincial executive who also resolved to disband the regional executive committee in the eThekwini region and replace it with a task team.
Gumede is out on R50 000 bail after being arrested on corruption charges relating to a R230m waste removal tender. She was arrested earlier this month together with fellow councillor Mondli Mthembu who was also placed on special leave.
Ntuli said KZN premier and ANC chairperson in the province Sihle Zikalala would announce who would form the eThekwini regional task team later on Tuesday.
"It will be a leadership [that] understands the challenges of the region."
He would not be drawn into questions on whether Gumede would be part of the task team.
He did however say: "What we cannot do and will not do is reproduce the same leadership and exclusion of others on the basis that they were not elected by the last conference. That would not have been a leadership that is understanding."
Fawzia Peer set to take over
Ntuli told News24 on Monday meanwhile that deputy mayor Fawzia Peer would likely take over in eThekwini.
"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 added that the minimum standard representatives were held to was the constitution.
"This is the standard we must uphold if we are to be an inspiration and people whose hopes we represent."