OUTA disappointed by no decision on Gumede by the ANC
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) says it is wrong that nearly three months after eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede appeared before a court on serious criminal charges, she is still the Mayor and still on special leave.
“OUTA had hoped the political leadership that exists in this province would have dealt decisively with this issue. However, it appears they have relinquished this responsibility,” said OUTA KZN provincial manager Tim Tyrrell.
Today the ANC, who said it would take a decision on the future of Gumede at the beginning of August, has instead extended her leave of absence along with her co-accused Mondli Mthembu, who is a member of the executive council in eThekwini. The leave has tentatively been extended for another week however there is no certainty that a decision will be taken.
Since Gumede and Mthembu’s arrest on 14 May 2019, OUTA has written to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta); the eThekwini Municipal Council and the governing party explaining to them their responsibility and duty to the citizens of eThekwini.
OUTA understands that the removal of Gumede poses internal political ramifications for the ANC however, not acting poses even greater ramifications for the running of eThekwini Municipality and its nearly 3.5-million residents.
Gumede’s tenure has allowed for a culture of impunity to take hold in the City where officials are simply not disciplined for often gross negligence. In the interim service delivery and infrastructure spending has slowed down, irregular expenditure sits at more than R500-million, consumer rates have increased by more than double the Consumer Price Index and social issues such as drugs and homelessness continue to rise in almost every part of the City.
“We hope that the political leadership will replace Gumede next week so that the duties of the Mayor can be fulfilled”, Tyrrell added.