Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
28 Aug 2020
1:13 pm

Zandile Gumede directed to step aside by ANC KZN PEC

Makhosandile Zulu

ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli says Gumede and the party's provincial chair Mike Mabuyakhulu will be prohibited from representing the party.

Zandile Gumede. Picture: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

The provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has decided that party members facing “prosecutorial procedures” should immediately step aside.

Briefing the media on the outcomes of the PEC’s meeting on Friday, the party’s provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said recently sworn-in member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede as well as the deputy chair of the party in the province, Mike Mabuyakhulu, will be “required to step aside” pending the outcomes of their respective court cases and party processes, which include them appearing before the ANC’s provincial integrity commission.

Gumede has appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on charges linked to tender irregularities, valued at R400 million dating back to 2016.

Mabuyakhulu is facing charges of fraud and racketeering.

Ntuli said the governing party’s provincial officials had had a discussion with Mabuyakhulu and Gumede “to understand the situation relating to their ongoing cases but also to gain an understanding on their part on how best, in their respective opinions, the movement which they belong to can be insulated from the challenges they face in order to safeguard its integrity and standing in society”.

Ntuli said the PEC, which took seriously the concerns raised by society following by Gumede’s deployment to the provincial legislature, agreed that “all comrades who are charged’ will be “directed to step aside from their responsibilities, immediately, both from the movement and the state and for them to appear before the integrity commission”.

Ntuli said during the period before such comrades appear before the provincial integrity commission, they are barred from standing for or representing the governing ANC.

The PEC also resolved that the provincial integrity commission was expected to carry out its duties “within the shortest, reasonable period of time”, so that the PEC could decide on the matter, Ntuli said.

The PEC mandated the ANC provincial chair, Sihle Zikalala, and Ntuli “to engage with the” national executive committee (NEC), which will convene later, to request that guidelines should be drawn up on how to deal with “comrades” implicated in scandals that could potentially tarnish the party’s images but are not facing “prosecutorial procedures”, Ntuli said.

The NEC will also be “engaged” that while such “guiding principles” are being developed, it should be practised across the country that “comrades who find themselves in difficulty with the law” do not represent the party and should not serve in the party’s organs and those of the state pending integrity commission outcomes.

“The two comrades are not removed, they are required to step aside,” Ntuli clarified, explaining that they are “prohibited” from carrying out their respective duties, “they are not resigning”, and Gumede will still be a member of the provincial legislature pending court outcomes and those of the integrity commission.

Ntuli further said it was not true that Gumede had been deployed to the provincial legislature as a chair of the portfolio committee of cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

“It was not true, it is not true today,” Ntuli said.

Zikalala said if Gumede and Mabuyakhulu were found not guilty, they would resume their duties.

 

During a recent engagement with the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala recently said Gumede’s appointment to the provincial legislature was not the best solution but was “solving one problem with another”.

Gumede 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, bid adjudication committee and the bid evaluation committee, despite the fact that mayors are not allowed to be involved in tender specification processes.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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