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IFP files court papers challenging Zandile Gumede’s appointment as MPL

This case is expected to be heard on 14 January 2021.

FILE: Zandile Gumede (left) is sworn in as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on 19 August 2020. KZN Legislature Speaker Nontembeko Boyce looks on. Picture: Supplied

DURBAN -The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Wednesday filed papers in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to overturn former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s appointment to the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.

This case is expected to be heard on 14 January 2021.

Gumede was sworn in her new role as a Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) in August, but she was later asked to step aside by the African National Congress (ANC) pending the outcome of her appearance before the governing party’s integrity commission.

The IFP described her appointment as irrational in light of the multi-million tender fraud case against her and 16 others.

Gumede and her co-accused face fraud, corruption, and racketeering charges linked to a tender scam valued at over R400 million.

She is currently out R 50,000 bail and the matter was expected to be heard again in December.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said their court action came after KZN legislature speaker Nontembeko Boyce and the province’s ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala refused to heed calls for Gumede’s removal.

“It is a slap in the face by the ANC to the public that: Zandile Gumede, while suspended, earns a lavish salary doing absolutely nothing while she is being investigated by the law enforcement agencies for alleged corrupt dealings,” Hlabisa said in a statement.

He added: “We cannot allow the ANC to continue to recycle and redeploy failed and corrupt cadres within their ranks in key government and administration positions, at the expense of the people of KZN and the country.”

Meanwhile, ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli accused the IFP of being opportunistic saying the official opposition in the province was abusing the ANC’s internal challenges for political gain.

The party also said they had not seen the court papers.

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