Political analyst Imraan Buccus has described the decision to appoint Zandile Gumede as an African National Congress (ANC) member of the provincial legislature (MPL) in KwaZulu Natal as “irrational”.
The latest move comes despite Gumede’s ongoing fraud and corruption case relating to a multi-million rand tender.
Last year, the controversial figure was removed from her position as mayor, but remained an ANC councillor in the eThekwini Metro.
Buccus says he is also disappointed at the ANC’s stance that Gumede is innocent until proven guilty.
He says, “I think on the face of it there’s no rational reason for her appointment. However this can be seen as a containment strategy and the reality is that the decision is made purely in the interest of the ANC. We have reached the point where the ANC sees itself as society and society is the ANC…”
“I’m also disappointed by the argument that she is innocent until proven guilty. They may be true in law, but it also shows that the ethical base of the ANC has eroded significantly,” added Buccus.
Reaction to former eThekwini mayor being sworn in as member of KZN legislature:
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has described as a slap in the public’s face the move by the governing party to redeploy Gumede.
DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango has described the move as disappointing.
Mncwango says, “We are indeed disappointed but not surprised by the ANC’s decision to promote Zandile Gumede to the legislature. This, we believe, is an insult to the people of KZN where someone who is facing serious allegations of corruption and has not yet cleaned her name in the court of law can be promoted to a higher structure like the legislature.”
Earlier, Corruption Watch slammed the move, saying it does not show that the party is serious about tackling corruption.
In the audio below, ANC KZN welcomes Gumede as a Member of the Provincial Legislature:
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 State alleges that the initial tender cost was exorbitantly inflated from R25 million to R208 million. It also alleged that they manipulated tender processes and split the contract between four inexperienced companies.
In October last year, the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) raided the former mayor’s Inanda home, north of Durban, and seized assets.
The former mayor is out on R50 000 bail, while the four councillors – arrested late last year – are out on R5 000 bail each.
In the video below, Gumede and co-accused appear in court