Please click here for a soundbite by Cllr Nicole Graham.
The DA in eThekwini is deeply concerned with a meeting that has taken place between the majority of the ANC’s Executive Committee Membership and Zandile Gumede, apparently to account for their work being done in the city.
Photos posted on Facebook on Monday show ANC EXCO members Thanduxolo Sabelo, Mpume Sithole, Ntokozo Sibiya, Sipho Kaunda and Chief Whip Sibongiseni Mkhize seated around a table. Zandile Gumede is seated at the head of the table, clearly chairing the meeting. The caption to the post says that they are meeting with ANC leadership to account for the work that they are doing in the municipality.
After months of dragging their feet, the ANC recalled Gumede and the rest of their Executive Committee members in September last year.
Gumede is out on bail and had an additional raft of charges added to her charge sheet earlier this month. By all accounts, her time at the helm of the city has almost completely collapsed services and functionality in the eThekwini Municipality. She now stands accused of corruption and fraud to the tune of R389 million.
Despite this, Gumede and her co-accused, Mondli Mthembu remain ordinary Councillors of the eThekwini Municipality.
Four further Councillors were arrested in December, but not a single one of the 62 Councillors’ named as having worked with Gumede in court have been charged by the Speaker in terms of the Municipal Systems Act.
Despite attempts by Mayor Kaunda and his leadership team, it seems the ‘new’ ANC in eThekwini are still beholden to the old. It’s utterly absurd that city leaders would be expected to account to the woman who brought eThekwini to its knees.
This is a clear indication that the politics of the ANC always trump the interests of eThekwini residents, and that the only real way change will happen in Durban is for residents to elect a city government that will put them first.