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ANC upholds KZN decision to fire eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has been instructed by the ANC national leadership to vacate office.
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has been instructed by the ANC national leadership to vacate office.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

ANC national leadership has upheld the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee's (PEC) decision to axe eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte met with the party’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership and the council to inform them of the decision, and that the entire executive committee (Exco) under Gumede should vacate office.

“After careful consideration we agreed that in the best interest of the ANC and the people of the metropolitan of eThekwini, we would agree that the Exco that has been requested to vacate their seats,” said Duarte.

Gumede would officially leave office on Thursday when the speaker convenes a sitting to elect a new mayor.

Duarte said that the Exco members would remain as councillors in the eThekwini metropolitan.

Gumede threw the party into a tailspin last week when she withdrew her resignation, a move which saw the inauguration of Mxolisi Kaunda as the new mayor being suspended.

This came after Gumede met with ANC national officials to plead for her job back after the provincial executive committee (PEC) axed her for various reasons, including failure to deliver services.

She is also facing corruption charges, but the PEC maintained their decision was not based on this.

Gumede is said to have also complained to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule that she had been treated unfairly in the process leading to her removal.

Duarte said that following a meeting with her on Tuesday, Gumede accepted the decision to step down.

“We met with comrade Zandile Gumede, who’s a very senior member of the ANC and a very respected member of the ANC; she has accepted the decision made by the national officials and has undertaken to work within the council to assist to unite the council as well as go back on the ground to assist with the unification of the ANC as well,” said Duarte.

There would be no disciplinary action against Gumede for defying an order by the provincial leadership to resign, said Duarte. Gumede initially resigned but later withdrew her resignation.

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