As the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal welcomes the appointment of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede – who was sworn in as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, Congress of the People (Cope) says the ANC must hang their heads in shame for the appointment, considering Gumede had a pending serious court case.
“It is disgusting and a shame that the ANC does not have any respect for the rule of law anymore,” Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem told The Citizen.
The party criticised the swearing-in of Gumede as an MPL, while she was facing serious charges of fraud and corruption.
Bloem questioned the message the party was sending, considering the R50,000 bail granted to Gumede.
“It is disgraceful,” Bloem maintains, only to add that this meant the country was now in very serious trouble.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal who welcomed Gumede’s appointment, alongside that of Amon Zondi as a member of parliament, said they were aware of detractors who saught to use Gumede’s ongoing court case to criticise her appointment. They, however, subscribed to the notion of innocent until proven guilty.
The ANC in the region said it was confident that Gumede, with her experience, was a worthwhile addition to the Legislature.
The party confirmed that Gumede replaced the late Ricardo Mthembu.
Also read: WATCH: Zandile Gumede sworn in as KZN MPL
She has appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on charges linked to tender irregularities, valued at R400 million dating back to 2016.
Gumede is 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.
She is also accused of giving instructions to the bid specification committee (BSC), bid adjudication committee (BAC) and the bid evaluation committee (BEC), despite the fact that mayors are not allowed to be involved in tender specification processes.