Cape Town – While disappointed, the DA is not surprised by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC integrity commission’s decision to reinstate former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to the provincial legislature.
Regarding the commission’s decision as ’’reckless’’, Francois Rodgers, DA chief whip in the KZN legislature, said in a statement on Thursday ’’it also flies in the face of the strong stance taken by Premier Sihle Zikalala against corruption’’.
Gumede faces a raft of charges relating to a R430 million Durban Solid Waste tender. She appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court last week, where the matter was postponed yet again. Gumede will appear in court again in March.
’’The move comes after the commission earlier this weekend cleared Gumede of being involved in multimillion-rand tender fraud during her tenure as mayor,’’ the DA said.
’’Rather than demonstrating a hard line of zero tolerance against corruption, the ANC’s integrity commission in KZN has decided that loyalty to the party is paramount. By stating that they are ‘satisfied with her explanation’, the commission has effectively appointed itself judge and jury.
’’The DA also believes that the ANC is incapable of recognising that by placing corruption-accused members into positions of influence, they are not only hindering any efforts at ending the scourge, they are also sending a message that corruption pays. This as cadre protection continues, not just provincially but also nationally.
’’The ANC in our province is known to be deeply divided while the tentacles of corruption have extended deep into the psyche of many of those in power. The commission’s pronouncement also shows that the Zuma faction is alive and well in our province.
’’The ANC continues to insult the intelligence of the citizens of this province by placing itself first and ignoring the endless protests, shambolic governance and the desperation of so many people. As the 2021 elections loom, it will be the ANC that pays at the polls – and rightly so.’’