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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

Corruption-accused Zandile Gumede re-elected eThekwini chairperson

Zandile Gumede is facing multiple charges of corruption, and was elected in absentia.

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has been re-elected regional chairperson, beating council speaker Thabani Nyawose.

The long-awaited results were announced on Sunday evening from the Durban ICC Center where the conference is being held.

Gumede’s slate made a clean sweep at the conference that was marred by delays. She received 210 votes, while Nyawose, who is  supported by Premier Sihle Zikalala, managed to garner 181 votes.

Gumede’s slate, consisting of herself as chairperson, Themba Ntuli as her deputy, Musa Nciki as secretary-general, Nkosenhle Madlala as his deputy and Zoe Tshabalala as treasurer, was successfully elected on Sunday.

The former mayor was nominated and elected despite corruption charges hanging over her head. She is due to make another court appearance in July.

She was elected in absentia after she was forced to step aside following her criminal charges.

ALSO READ: ANC eThekwini: No sitting as disputes continue to cloud conference

The former mayor is a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, and is also aligned to the radical economic transformation (RET) ANC faction that opposes President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The RET grouping, consisting of other party leaders such as suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule, seeks to replace Ramaphosa at the national conference to be held in December this year.

Gumede allegedly directly or indirectly received R2.8 million in kickbacks from service providers who won the irregular DSW tender awarded in 2017.

The payments all took place while Gumede was still the mayor, and were not disclosed to the municipality as required by law.

She is also accused of using her political status to influence the appointment of senior eThekwini personnel responsible for supply-chain management, as well as legal matters and human resources.

eThekwini is the biggest ANC region in the country in terms of branches and membership, with at least 111 branches.

The eThekwini outcome will set the tone for the upcoming provincial conference.

Slates for the upcoming provincial conference have already been circulating, with the RET faction supporting current treasurer Nomusa Dube-Ncube as chairperson to replace Zikalala.

NOW READ: Zandile Gumede and co-accused’s corruption trial to start in July

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