The ANC Veterans League has expressed shock and dismay following the appointment of Zandile Gumede as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
The former Ethekwini Mayor was sworn in on Wednesday – despite her ongoing fraud and corruption case related to a multi-million rand waste removal tender. Gumede was removed from her position as mayor last year.
ANC Veterans League President, Dr Snuki Zikalala, says members facing criminal charges should step aside and have their names cleared before taking on a public role.
“The Veterans League is shocked, perplexed and dismayed by what happened in KZN. When we heard that Gumede was asked to step as the mayor, it was a very good move on the side of KZN. Any comrade who is facing criminal charges must step aside and clear their name. Our disciplinary action can then kick in. What we are worried about is the credibility and integrity of the ANC,” Zikalala says.
Call for decision to be reversed
Opposition parties in KwaZulu-Natal are calling on the ANC in the province to rescind its decision of redeploying Gumede to the provincial legislature.
IFP Provincial chairperson, Thamsanqa Ntuli, says the ANC should have waited for court processes to conclude.
“The move by her party to promote her to the legislature is actually is undermining the voters. It is undermining the interest of KZN people that when you have failed in a municipality you are then promoted to the provincial leadership. How can you promote a person who is still going to court having allegations of corruption? Why the party could not wait until she is cleared and then take a decision if it was necessary to do so?
DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango has described the move as disappointing and a slap on the public’s face.
Corruption Watch slammed the decision, saying it does not show that the party is serious about tackling corruption.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has conceded that corruption allegations levelled against Gumede do not display a good public image for the party. But says the party believes the former mayor is innocent until proven guilty.
Gumede, four ANC councillors, municipal officials and contractors are facing fraud and corruption charges. They are alleged to have defrauded the city of about R208 million through a waste removal tender.
The former mayor is out on R50 000 bail, while the four councillors – arrested late last year – are out on R5 000 bail each. They are due back in court in May.