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Clive Ndou
Politics editor
2 minute read
16 Dec 2020
06:43

Integrity commission clears Gumede to return to work

Clive Ndou

Corruption-accused former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will be returning to the provincial legislature after the ANC integrity committee ruled that she should go back to work.

Corruption-accused former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will be returning to the provincial legislature after the ANC integrity committee ruled that she should go back to work.

Gumede, who is currently facing trial in connection with the eThekwini Municipality’s R4 million solid waste management tenders, was suspended by the ANC provincial leadership in August shortly after she had been sworn in as an MPL.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the provincial integrity committee resolved that she should go back to work as there had been delays in her court matter.

During her appearance before the integrity commission in line with the controversial ANC directive that members facing criminal charges should step aside, Gumede also provided the commission with a “satisfactory explanation”.

“If the ANC continued to ask her to step aside despite this that would be infringing on her rights in the organisation,” Ntombela said.

“By allowing her to go back to the provincial legislature, the integrity commission has demonstrated that it was above internal party politics.”
Nonhlanhla Gabela, ANCWL provincial secretary

In October, the provincial integrity commission reinstated the party’s provincial deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu, who like Gumede, is currently facing criminal charges.

At the time the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) accused the ANC provincial leadership of applying anti-woman double standards by not allowing Gumede to go back to the legislature too.

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The ANC national leadership, which is under pressure to take action against party members involved in corruption, has been battling to find enough support within the party to allow it to remove members accused of corruption.

In its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held last week, the national leadership failed to get the proposal that members accused of corruption should step aside endorsed by the party’s high decision-making structure between conferences.

“By allowing her to go back to the provincial legislature, the integrity commission has demonstrated that it was above internal party politics.”
Nonhlanhla Gabela

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who like Gumede, is facing criminal charges, has indicated that he would not be stepping down from his position. The integrity commission has advised that he must step aside, or be suspended, however.

While Gumede could not be reached for comment, the ANCWL in KZN welcomed the integrity commission’s decision.

“By allowing her to go back to the provincial legislature, the integrity commission has demonstrated that it was above internal party politics,” ANCWL provincial secretary, Nonhlanhla Gabela, said.

Removing Gumede from her MPL position, Gabela said, was a violation of the ANC constitution. “Apart from the fact that no court of law has found her guilty of any crime, she is yet to be presented with formal charges. As the ANCWL we are happy that the wrongs that have been done in the past are finally being corrected,” she said.