Zandile Gumede blames media for her removal as eThekwini Mayor

Without offering any evidence to back her claim, she's told eNCA on Thursday morning that the media has an agenda against women.

FILE: Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: @eThekwiniM/Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption accused African National Congress (ANC) official Zandile Gumede has blamed the media for her removal as eThekwini Mayor.

“It was because of you people of the media who went all out of their way to make sure that as the first woman Mayor of eThekwini, you are denting my name and also as the first chairperson of the African National Congress, you are denting my name.”

Without offering any evidence to back her claim, she's told _eNCA _on Thursday morning that the media had an agenda against women.

There's been widespread criticism after she was sworn into the provincial legislature on Wednesday despite facing criminal charges of corruption linked to tender fraud.

Gumede was released on bail of R50,000.

She insisted she was not being rewarded and she was just trying to continue delivering services in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said through her appointment to the provincial legislature, the ANC had just opened another door for her to continue working for the people.

She was roped in as a replacement for former KZN ANC spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu who died last month after contracting COVID-19.

ANC CAN'T WAIT FOR COURT PROCESS

At the same time, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has defended its controversial appointment of Gumede as MPL, saying it needed to prepare for next year’s municipal elections and can't wait for her criminal case to wrap up.

The ANC said it considered the criminal charges against her before making the controversial appointment but claims the case had dragged on for over a year now and service delivery was suffering without her leadership.

The party's KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said: “We think the decision we have taken is in the best interest of helping to stabilise governance in eThekwini. If people understand what the challenges in eThekwini were which led to the recalling of Zandile Gumede, if people understand what the challenges have been thereafter, they will understand the importance of the decision we are taking. We are giving that leadership the space to operate on tehri own to ensure that service delivery is taken to our people without any other issue hampering their effort towards that objective.”

The ANC said it's not ruling out the possibility that Gumede could be elected as chairperson of the cooperative governance and traditional affairs portfolio committee in the provincial legislature.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.