Former eThekwini Mayor and member of provincial legislature (MPL) Zandile Gumede has been allocated to the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) portfolio committee, the ANC confirmed to News24 on Monday.
“Yes, I have seen the report from the chief whip’s office that they have allocated her to the portfolio committee. They replaced her on all the committees comrade Ricardo [Mthembu] was previously serving on. At this stage the deployment was made in the chief whip’s office without the consultation with the party,” ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipo Ntombela said.
Chairperson of committees in the KZN legislature Themba Mthembu said he was not aware of the allocation.
“That is very strange, I am not aware.”
Gumede replaced Mthembu, who died of Covid-19 in KwaDukuza on 8 July. He was also the chairperson of the vital portfolio committee and ANC spokesperson.
Previously, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said Gumede was removed as mayor of eThekwini Metro because of under performance as a municipal mayor.
The Cogta committee deals directly with pressing and integral municipal issues at all municipalities throughout the province.
Ntombela said rumours that she was chairing the committee, were “fake news”.
“There is no such thing [that] just because you are serving in that portfolio committee that you will be the chairperson of that committee.”
He said the decision by the chief whip to allocate her to the portfolio, which handles municipal issues, would be discussed within the party.
“It is an issue I have raised with the provincial secretary and something we are going to deal with.”
Ntombela said that “at this stage it’s a proposal from the chief whip’s office”.
“They made an assumption that because Ricardo [Mthembu] was serving on all these committees then automatically again, they put her on the same committees. What informed that on their part, I cannot speak on their behalf.”
He however reiterated that she would not chair the committee.
“We are clear as the ANC, that she is not going to be a chairperson of any portfolio committee. There is nothing of that sort on the ANC side.”