African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala says any party members facing charges in court must take a leave of absence or they will be removed.
ANC mayor in the spotlight
His comments come in the wake of an ANC KZN resolution that eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede take a 30-day leave of absence so the party can determine her innocence.
“Without casting any doubt or saying comrades you are guilty – as the PEC we want to affirm the decision we have taken and that the ANC will subject that matter to processes within the movement,” he told the political executive committee lekgotla in eMpangeni, as broadcast on eNCA.
“The ANC should finalise those processes within 30 days.”
An involuntary leave of absence
While Zikalala went to great lengths to assure party members that guilt would not be assumed on anyone who takes the leave of absence, he did warn of harsh consequences for anyone who did not follow the party’s orders.
“That stepping down means – a comrade who is charged must take leave,” he continued.
“If that comrade doesn’t follow that decision, it will mean we will have to recall that comrade, and not recalling him or her through negotiation, but recalling through convening the structure and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person.”
#PECLEKGOTLA Sihle Zikalala says those charged must voluntary take 30 days leave of absence or face a recall. @eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was ordered by the PEC to take leave while the ANC decides her fate within 30 days. #eNCA pic.twitter.com/edppc7bXUj
— Siphamandla Goge (@SiphamandlaGoge) June 9, 2019
Gumede following orders
In the wake of Zikalala’s comments, the embattled Gumede has decided to comply with the ANC’s orders and take a leave of absence while court matters involving her are resolved.
“I’ve been consulting with my lawyers because the issue is in court,” Gumede told eNCA. “So, after the resolution of our ANC PEC from tomorrow, which is Monday, I’m gonna be taking a leave of absence.”
“They said I must take a 30-day leave of absence to make sure that I clear the air and also consult with my legal advisors so that I’m not going to be having a cloud hanging. I’ll never ever defy my leadership.”
Gumede is currently out on bail of R50 000 after she appeared in the Durban commercial crimes court in April on charges of fraud relating to a R208 million solid-waste tender.