Zandile Gumede’s 30-day leave of absence ends, with no end in sight – DA

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: NQOBILE MBONAMBI / AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: NQOBILE MBONAMBI / AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

The opposition party wants the Durban municipality placed under administration, but they’re simply being ignored.

The DA said in a statement on Wednesday that the ANC was still so mired in its own internal power squabbles on the day when eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s 30-day leave of absence was meant to come to an end, that there has been little clarity on the way forward.

The ANC had announced on Wednesday morning they were extending the mayor’s leave of absence until August, with the investigation into her conduct still ongoing.

MPL Mbali Ntuli lamented that there was “no real end in sight when it comes to Mayor Zandile Gumede’s extended absence”.

She said her being placed on leave following fraud and corruption charges being laid against her were coming to an end after she had been made to sit it out on the sidelines by the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC), which was supposedly deciding how to best handle the situation.

“The [ANC] also claimed that it would use [her] leave period to investigate allegations that the charges against her may have been politically motivated.”

Ntuli said that instead of any decisive action being taken by the ANC, the metro was being allowed to be “crippled by scandal after scandal”.

“There can also be no doubt that Premier Zikalala owes Gumede a big vote of thanks following his campaign victory and this is exactly why we are dealing with extended leave absences rather than the Metro Council being dissolved by the CoGTA MEC.

“The DA is not interested in the ANC’s internal squabbling. What we are concerned about is whether the single biggest Metro in our province is being properly run in the interests of the many thousands of residents it serves. Right now, eThekwini is so compromised that the only logical solution is for it to be completely dissolved and placed under administration.”

The party called on the province’s CoGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, to place the city under administration, but had not yet heard back from him.

“We have also tabled a Motion in the KZN Legislature calling for a debate on the matter and for Premier Zikalala to take leadership before eThekwini reaches the point of no return.”

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