eThekwini municipality mayor Zandile Gumede in KwaZulu-Natal is back at work, despite mounting pressure that she vacates her position amid allegations of corruption.

Gumede and councillor Mondli Mthembu as well as service provider Craig Ponnan appeared at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on allegations of fraud and corruption on Tuesday.

This is in relation to the R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender in 2016.

eThekwini Council opposition caucus leaders have questioned how the council can run its business with Gumede being restricted in her tasks.

This follows strict bail conditions which prevented her from having contact with certain departments in the administration.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the eThekwini council has added to calls for Gumede’s head. Nicole Graham is the DA caucus leader in the Metro.

“It’s suspicious that she was only arrested after the election when everybody else has already been arrested in connection with this case but we welcome the progress that has been made in this matter. I think the ANC needs to suspend the mayor. I don’t think that she can continue to be the mayor until this case is resumed and that’s for two reasons the first is that she needs not to be involved in what is happening in the municipality so it doesn’t compromise the investigation and now with the conditions that have been placed on the mayor it is gonna make it very difficult for the business of council to proceed,” says Graham.

IFP’s Prem Ayir says, “Inkatha Freedom Party is very concerned that the city image has been tarnished with the allegations of fraud corruption and money laundering by the Mayor Zandile Gumede. The fact that she is number one citizens of the city; and she interacts with various parties the public at large and all the officials from various department including the city integrity investigation unit, the municipal manager we find that it will be virtually impossible for her to remain in office during this period of time.”

Councillors pointed to her decision to dissolve critical finance committees when she took up office two years ago. This they claim left the door open for corruption going unchecked.

The timing of her arrest, after the elections, was also questioned.

Two weeks ago nine others linked to the same case were arrested and appeared in court.

The ANC provincial leadership said they would meet this week to reflect on the challenges faced by the eThekwini municipality.

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