eThekwini mayoral hopeful Gumede says ANC is not divided

ANC Youth League delegates during their 25th national congress held over the weekend in Midrand where the new leadership was elected PHOTOs: ANTONIO
ANC Youth League delegates during their 25th national congress held over the weekend in Midrand where the new leadership was elected PHOTOs: ANTONIO

Zandile Gumede‚ the African National Congress’ mayoral candidate for the eThekwini municipality‚ had a baptism of fire in her first-ever high-profile public appearance.

The eThekwini regional chair had a tough time fending off accusations about her party’s string of failures during an eNCA-organised live debate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday evening.

Gumede‚ who was a panellist along with the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Haniff Hoosen‚ National Freedom Party’s (NFP) Zandile Myeni‚ Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) Cedric Xulu and the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Marshall Dlamini‚ was firmly in the spotlight as opposition parties pointed out not only her party’s failures when it came to service delivery but also highlighted intra-party divisions.

ANC should deal with the legitimacy of choosing leaders

When asked by facilitator and host Imam Rapetti about internal divisions‚ Gumede said there were none.

“There are no divisions in the eThekwini ANC. We are more united as ever‚” she said amidst howling and heckling from an unruly audience.

Hoosen was perplexed by Gumede’s response.

“It shocks me that a future mayor of eThekwini says there are no divisions‚” he said.

Gumede said her party had put systems in place to fight corruption and to make the city safe.

The EFF insisted that when it took over the city and convened a new council on August 4‚ it will make things happen.

Dlamini reiterated that his party would expropriate municipal land and hand it over to the poor and struggling business people.

“We make things happen as the EFF. When we said [President Jacob Zuma] would pay back the money‚ he paid. When we said the Guptas would leave‚ they left‚” he said.

Myeni said they had gone into a coalition with the ANC because they thought it would help the party’s service delivery’s objective‚ but were now ready to go it alone.

Myeni challenged Gumede‚ pointing out that the ANC had failed on issues such as housing delivery in the city and elsewhere in the country.

However‚ more laidback was the IFP’s Xulu‚ who sought to showcase the IFP’s track record on service delivery.

“Take‚ for example‚ Msinga Municipality‚ which we won in 2011 with Ulundi‚ it’s the best performing municipality‚” he said amid a rapture of applause by IFP supporters and heckling by both the ANC and NFP.

He taunted the NFP: “In Msinga and Nkandla you won’t see a single orange shirt. The IFP is on a rise. We won back three municipalities from the ANC/NFP coalition. They are Nkandla‚ Hlabisa and Mtonjaneni‚” said Xulu. – TMG Digital

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