Calls have intensified for the eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to resign. This comes after Gumede handed herself over to authorities this week in connection with a R200 million solid waste tender.
The African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal has added its voice to the calls for Gumede’s resignation.
Gumede was released on bail of R50 000. She will be back in the Durban’s Commercial Crimes Court on 8 August 2019.
However, on Friday, a group of ANC members marched through the streets of Durban in support of the embattled mayor. Some of Gumede’s supporters say the mayor is going nowhere.
“We rally behind the chairperson of this region who is also the mayor here in eThekwini. We are fully behind her. If they want her to fall, we will also fall with her, otherwise, no one is going to fall.”
“Most of our leaders are reported to have been waiting for imminent arrest, even her in eThekwini. We are waiting for the arrest of about 62 councillors. The newspapers are reporting; you can imagine, because we are actually one-and-a-half years towards our local government elections.”
Receiving the memorandum, ANC’s peace and stability convenor Bheki Ntuli said he will hand over the memorandum to the party’s leadership.
“We have received the memorandum from comrades from different branches. We are going to take it to the leadership as it was intended to both the chairperson of the province and the secretary. They will then share it with the officials and take it from there. We took it that they were not necessarily marching because they verbally indicated that they decided to come to the ANC office which is their home to try and express their concerns with the leadership of the ANC.”
Gumede and councillor Mondli Mthembu and service provider Craig Ponnan, appeared at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on allegations of fraud and corruption, in relation to the 208 million rand Durban Solid Waste tender in 2016.
Political parties including the IFP and the DA are calling for the mayor’s head.
Earlier this week, political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni says the prosecution of Ethekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will send a strong message that no one is above the law.
Fikeni says the governing ANC should allow the law to take its course.
“Those who might be on her side, they might believe that there is a cynical reason which waited for elections to pass for her to be held accountable. What is most important will be the evidence presented and the court case when it is proceeding if there is substance to it. Then indeed, it will prove that the law is taking its own course. The ruling party should allow the law to take its own course and presume the mayor to be innocent until proven guilty; but they should not intervene by the way of showing support directly because it may undo the very work that they are trying to do.”