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KZN ANC: Decision to fire Gumede has nothing to do with court case

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede's axing was confirmed during a briefing earlier on Tuesday.

FILE: Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) African National Congress (ANC) provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said the decision to fire eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was unanimous.

Gumede's axing was confirmed during a briefing earlier on Tuesday.

Ntuli said the final call to have her removed was made by provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala and went unopposed.

Ntuli said the KZN ANC had lost confidence in all executive deployees led by Gumede at the Ethekwini Municipality.

However, he reiterated that the charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against Gumede played no role in her axing, saying that she had been removed due to issues including inconsistent refuse collection and poor audit outcomes.

“The decision to remove and redeploy is purely and solely on the basis of our assessment of the state of the municipality, the performance and what we think needs to be done in order to enhance the ability of those municipalities to provide services to our people. It’s not about the court case.”

Ntuli also announced that the executive of the eThekwini and Msunduzi Municipalities would be redeployed.

FINDING REPLACEMENTS

The party said the eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities would have new mayors within the next seven days.

Ntuli said the decision to recall Gumede and Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo was based on a provincial working committee report which suggested that they failed to execute their duties.

Njilo and Gumede were also found to have consistently taken wrong decisions without facing consequences.

The provincial working committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss replacements for those fired.

Ntuli said the ANC would deploy experienced and visionary leaders to these newly vacant positions.

“You must understand the policies of the ANC, you must have a sense of how governance and government work, and as an additional advantage, you must be a comrade who was once at some point or you currently are a councillor.”

The move to axe Gumede and Njilo has been largely welcomed by opposition parties.

Meanwhile, the Organization Opposing Tax Abuse has welcomed the axing of Gumede, saying it was long overdue.

Outa's Tim Tyrrell said: “There was a declaration by the provincial PEC back in March which says any leader who is compromised [must be dealt with], that hasn’t happened until now. There have been two extensions of Gumede’s leave and this whole thing has been swirling around since mid-May when she was charged.”