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Even though she faces charges of money laundering, corruption, and racketeering, former Ethekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has been reinstated in all her official roles within the party.
She is back as an MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and as a member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee in that region. Gumede attended the KZN integrity commission and, after making presentations, was allowed by the commission to return. ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the decision was taken based on the recommendations provided by the province’s integrity commission.
“The integrity commission was satisfied with her explanation. They also looked at the fact that it is over a year since she was arrested but there is no progress from the side of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). If the ANC continued to ask her to step aside despite this, that would be infringing on her rights in the organisation,” said Ntombela.
Gumede is out on R50,000 bail and had been asked by the party to step aside from her job as an MPL and member of the provincial executive committee before her appearance at the integrity commission.
On 24 February 2021, Gumede will appear at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court after delays by the NPA in finalising the evidence in her case. Gumede has always maintained her innocence, claiming she was being persecuted for being a woman leader.
In 2016, she was arrested together with several municipal officials over a R430m waste management tender. Her homes around Durban were then raided and R415,000 in cash was found. The Asset Forfeiture Unit also seized a fleet of luxury vehicles registered in Gumede’s name, including a Lamborghini, two Porsches, two Jaguars, a Mercedes Benz GTS, a Land Rover and an Audi.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit also seized houses that Gumede owns in exclusive suburbs such as Zimbali, Umhlanga, Amanzimtoti, Chatsworth and Inanda. In addition, VW Polos and Toyotas were also found on the properties. In total, assets worth about R50m were recovered from Gumede who earned R1,35m a year as mayor of Ethekwini.
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