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eThekwini mayor denies plans to fund Zuma’s recording album

The about-turn was announced during Gumede’s opening statement at an executive council meeting at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday morning.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma addressing supporters following his appearance at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 27 July. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

DURBAN - eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has categorically denied that the municipality has plans to fund a recording album for former President Jacob Zuma.

The about-turn was announced during Gumede’s opening statement at an executive council meeting at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday morning.

The Parks and Recreation Department’s head Thembinkosi Ngcobo recently confirmed the municipality would be covering the costs for the album and called for those interested in becoming backup singers for Zuma’s upcoming album.

After weeks of discussion around the release of Zuma’s studio album, Gumede rocked the boat by disputing claims that there was ever such a plan.

“Unfortunately we read about this in the news like everybody else. Nobody took us into confidence about this project.”

Gumede who is a known ally of Zuma says that as an ANC deployee to the metro, the party’s provincial caucus would have needed to have been notified first.

“For now, there is no such for the name of the former president to be dragged into the mud for something that does not exist. I just want to put that on record.”

Meanwhile, sources claim there was an informal discussion between Thembinkosi Ngcobo and Zuma but apparently there had been no confirmation from the former head of state about whether he would continue with the proposed project.

For the eThekwini Municipality to approve the funding, it would need to go through the metro's council which is an item that has never been tabled for discussion.

Gumede said there has never been any plan by the municipality to fund an album with Zuma.

“Under normal circumstances, politicians make political announcements and as an ANC deployed mayor, I would have briefed the ANC caucus first before making such an announcement. The protocol was not followed and we are prepared to speak on the items once we get a full briefing."

Eyewitness News understands an informal discussion was held between Ngcobo and Zuma but apparently there had been no confirmation from the former president about whether he would continue with the proposed project.

Meanwhile, Ngcobo has declined to comment on whether he was given the go-ahead to make claims about an album.

Ngcobo says he needs to fully understand what the mayor has said before giving a response.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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