Opposition parties walk out of Durban council meeting

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is expected to be redeployed
Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is expected to be redeployed

An executive committee meeting at the embattled eThekwini municipality was postponed after opposition parties walked out on Tuesday.

It is understood that the walkout was staged because some ANC executive committee members, who were to be redeployed, were present at the meeting. 

The municipality has been thrown into turmoil since the ANC’s decision to redeploy mayor Zandile Gumede.

The Sunday Times reported this week that the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) used a report compiled by the provincial treasury and the department of co-operative governance to fire Gumede two years before her five-year term was due to end.

Gumede, an ally of former president Jacob Zuma, also faces charges of corruption and is out on bail of R50,000.

Municipal spokesperson Mandla Nsele said on Tuesday that the opposition party walkout came "amid the announcement last week by the PEC to redeploy the ANC executive committee members, with the announcement of the incumbent members expected to be made soon".

Acting eThekwini mayor Fawzia Peer assured residents that the executive meeting postponement and the decision by the ANC PEC would not affect the everyday functioning of the city.

"The public can rest assured that service delivery has not been impeded or affected by the postponement of the executive committee meeting, with executive members still acting in their respective portfolios until council processes are followed for them to be redeployed," said Peer.

"The council and administration are still fully functional. In the past seven days, all the subcommittee scheduled meetings did take place. I would like to reassure residents that the transition does not have any negative impact on service delivery.

"On August 29 we have a scheduled full council meeting taking place where I am sure decisions will be made. Redeployment is a process and we should allow the ANC space for them to make these decisions," Peer said.

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