IFP ‘disquiet’ over Gumede’s extended leave

Staff Writer | Jul 20, 2019
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has expressed disquiet at the African National Congress (ANC) extending the leave of controversial eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who has been charged with fraud.

The IFP said the ANC’s latest move appeared to be ‘a delaying tactic … to arrive at the inevitable, the election of a new mayor in Ethekwini’, and that the ruling party should fire Gumede.

Gumede appeared in eThekwini’s Commercial Crimes Court on charges relating to a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender in May. She was granted bail of R50 000 and is expected back in court next month. The charging of Gumede was taken by many as a sign that the ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa meant business when it said it would act firmly against corruption in high places.

Velenkosini Hlabisa, leader of the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, said in a statement: ‘When mayor Gumede was given a thirty days leave by the ANC, we in the IFP questioned the logic and reasoning behind this very short time-frame given the intensity of the issues involved.

‘The IFP is further urging the law enforcement authorities and the justice authorities in the country to probe whether the bail conditions given to mayor Gumede were not violated prior to her being given leave of absence by her party.

‘All the measures taken to postpone and delay matters is a slap in the face by the ruling party to the voters of eThekwini municipality.’

The IFP called on the ANC ‘to be bold enough and fire Zandile Gumede before the state of Ethekwini Metro deteriorates to the unacceptable levels’.

Protests, and the actions of ANC councillors ‘sympathetic to Zandile Gumede’ were undermining governance ‘which impacts negatively on service delivery’.

 

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