eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has agreed to take leave of absence after the African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Executive Committee requested her to, on Sunday.

Gumede, who is also the regional chairperson, is out on bail of R50 000 for allegedly defrauding the municipality of about R208 million in a refuse removal tender.

The committee meeting in Empangeni on the KwaZulu-Natal North coast has also decided to disband the party’s eThekwini Regional Executive Committee.

The region was supposed to hold its conference in 2018, but postponed due to the general elections.

“Without saying comrades who are charged are guilty… As the PEC, we want to affirm the decision we have taken. We have taken a view that anyone who is charged for any serious case will have to step down and the ANC subject that matter to processes within the movement, and the ANC should finalise those processes within 30 days – and that stepping down means a comrade charged must take a leave. But if a comrade is not taking voluntary leave the ANC will be compelled to remove that comrade and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person,” says Provincial Chairperson Sihle Zikalala.

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