Gumede is currently out on bail of R50 000 for her alleged role in a Durban Solid Waste tender scandal that involved other eThekwini councillors, officials, and service providers.
Durban – The South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal said on Thursday it was “baffled, disappointed and flabbergasted” at corruption-accused former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, being sworn in as a member of provincial legislature.
Gumede was sworn in as an MPL on Wednesday, taking the place of ANC KZN spokesperson and MPL Ricardo Mthembu, who died last month due to Covid-19.
“We want to put on record that the SACP in the province was neither alerted nor consulted on the re-deployment of the former mayor of eThekwini Councillor Zandile Gumede and only learnt about it when it appeared on the television screens,” SACP provincial spokesperson, Sifiso Gwala said via a statement.
Gwala said the move by the provincial ANC came at a time when the governing party was under “tremendous attack for seemingly allowing the culture of corruption to reign freely in the government and in the structures of the organisation”.
“This emerging kind of leadership within the alliance undermines the essence of the foundations of the revolutionary alliance, organisational ethical morality and internal party democracy.”
Gumede is currently out on bail of R50 000 for her alleged role in a Durban Solid Waste tender scandal that involved other eThekwini councillors, officials, and service providers. The revised amount for the alleged looted money stands at R389 million, however, investigators have stated this may increase as the probe continues.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also weighed into the fray, with provincial media liaison officer Nokulunga Ngobese saying the party noted Gumede’s new position “with disgust”, adding it was “not surprising” that she had been elevated from a PR councillor – a position she retained after being axed as mayor – to MPL.
“The ANC has proved again that they have no ethics and morals, and that it is an organisation that values thuggery and thievery by awarding those who are always at the wrong side of the law with a token of appreciation for a ‘job well done’,” said Ngobese.
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) eThekwini caucus leader, Nicole Graham, had said the party was “disgusted” at Gumede’s redeployment, adding it was evident that her “grip on eThekwini’s politics and purse continue”.
The provincial ANC leadership issued a statement shortly after Gumede’s swearing in on Wednesday, saying it was “fully aware of detractors who will seek to use Cde Gumede’s ongoing court case to criticise the appointment”.
“We subscribe to the notion of innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in our justice system and, as such, there is nothing untoward about the appointment of Cde Gumede,” it said.
Meanwhile, news of Gumede’s appointment spread like wildfire on Twitter.
African News Agency