Durban – Zandile Gumede, the under-fire mayor of the eThekwini municipality, has been fired by her party, bringing to an end a protracted three-month battle that has created divisions within the party in KwaZulu-Natal.
According to ANC sources who attended the provincial executive meeting (PEC) meeting in Durban, Gumede was supported by several regional supporters who were also backed by other senior provincial executive committee members. However, she was eventually fired.
Gumede did not go alone as the party decided to also fire the speaker of the council William Mapena and the chief whip Neli Nyanisa.
Themba Njilo the mayor of besieged Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) municipality, the capital of KZN, was also fired. Also fired in Msunduzi was controversial deputy mayor, Thobani Zuma.
Gumede told Independent Media this week that she would wait for the party’s decision before deciding herself whether she would take the party to court.
“Let us wait for the decision and we will take it from there,” Gumede had said.
The legal threat over the matter has been lingering for months now, with an insider once telling Independent Media that in May Gumede herself told the provincial executive committee that she was ready to take the matter to court.
Some ANC branches in the eThekwini have also indicated that they would take the matter to court if they feel internal party justice was not done on the matter.
Gumede had said this week that she was more than ready to resume her duties.
“I am ready to go back to work. If my party that deployed me to the position says so, I will not hesitate to resume my duties,” she said, especially after the Durban Commercial Crimes Court relaxed her bail conditions.
Gumede faces fraud and corruption charges which emanates from a 2017 R208 million waste tender has been on an ANC imposed leave since June this year. She is charged with another senior ANC councillor, Mondli Mthembu and nine others.