THANDEKA Nukani, the embattled former mayor of eNdumeni municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, will soon have to search for a new job.
Sources in the ANC claim the ruling party has asked Nukani to resign as municipality executive committee member and councillor pending the outcome of her conspiracy to murder case.
Nukani and her co-accused, Peter Khumalo, were recently each granted R10000 bail by the Utrecht magistrate's court.
The two were arrested on September 28 on charges of attempting to hire a Waterval prison inmate to poison Nukani's nephew, Siyabonga Nukani, who had turned state witness against her and Khumalo in the 2007 murder case of ANC councillor Grishen Bujram.
Next month Khumalo will be tried for the murder of IFP councillor Peter Nxele, while Nukani will appear in the Ladysmith high court in May to face a murder charge relating to the Bujram killing - the case for which her boyfriend, Bongani Shangase, is serving a life term.
An ANC insider told Sowetan that the council's move to get rid of Nukani coincided with the party's appeal for her to relinquish her post. He said the provincial leadership had asked her to resign but she was challenging the decision.
"She has brought the party into ignominy by being implicated in the killing of Bujram. And the issue has divided the region," the source said.
In a letter dated December 15, the council asked Nukani to leave her post as an exco member after failing to attend three consecutive meetings while she was in prison.
In her response letter, which is in Sowetan's possession, Nukani appealed to the council to reverse its decision, saying that her absence was due to the fact that she was in prison.
"I will soon appear in court to defend myself against all allegations," her letter says in part.
"I am innocent until proven guilty. That is how the law works. I'm a victim of a conspiracy by my political enemies. I did not breach any code of conduct."
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala refused to comment, saying they did not conduct organisational matters through the media.
"As a party we took a decision not to be involved in the matter because it's before the court," Zikalala said.
He said they would wait for judgment before announcing their next move.
"We will also look into the impact of the issue on the organisation and communicate with her," Zikalala sais.
Nukani was not available for comment.