OPINION

Zandile Gumede must go – DA KZN

This is the only way to uphold the reputation of the KZN provincial legislature

DA calls for removal of Zandile Gumede in a bid to uphold the reputation of KZN Legislature

31 March 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has written to SihleZikalala and MdumiseniNtuli - in their respective capacities as ANC Chairperson and Secretary in the province (view here) - calling for disgraced former eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, to be immediately removed from the provincial legislature.

The DA’s call comes after the recent ANC decision to suspend all members who have been criminally charged, as well as the decision to move Gumede’s more than 2 000 fraud and corruption charges to the High Court.

While the DA acknowledges and respects an individual’s rights to be considered innocent until proven guilty, it is also necessary to uphold and maintain the decorum and reputation of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

KZN citizens cannot wait 30 days for the ANC to make up its mind about those who have abused power and the DA believes that there is more than enough evidence to support the view that Zandile Gumede is a liability to the credibility of the provincial parliament. In addition, we believe that her continued presence within the institution has the potential to further damage the Premier’s own standing and integrity.

Gumede’s failures in local government would, under normal circumstances mean that she should be kept as far away as possible from decisions about local government. This, however, has not been the case with the ANC deploying her to KZN’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) portfolio committee which deals with the heart of local government.

The DA does not believe that she is fit for this role and regards her presence as an insult to the people of KZN. There simply cannot be a tainted individual making input if this committee is to be taken seriously, particularly one who – along with her cronies - caused the collapse of KZN’s only metro.

The DA first exposed Gumede when she was still an eThekwini councillor. Since then we have continued the pressure to have her removed from any position of power or influence over government business. It is disgraceful, but not surprising, that the ANC in KZN still finds space for her. If she had been a DA public representative, quick action would have been taken - even if it meant damage to the party brand.

Unless Premier Zikalala, as ANC Chairperson, is afraid of Gumede there is no justifiable reason why he should not remove her. However, it is widely known that his power within the ANC – at both a party and legislature caucus level - has waned and that this has curtailed his ability to lead decisively.

As KZN’s ANC Chairperson, the Premier cannot allow his own personal ambitions to rule his decision-making. He must do what is best for the people of KZN and remove Gumede from her current role.

Issued byChris Pappas,DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA, 31 March 2021