Embattled eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede begins 30 days of “special leave” on Monday, as mandated by the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee Meeting this weekend. The members have claimed this will allow them time to decide what happens next with the official, who is facing a slew of corruption charges.
However, it seems that Gumede will be sitting in the naughty corner at the taxpayer’s expense. The conditions of her absence mean that she will still receive a full salary for effectively doing nothing over the next month.
How much money does Zandile Gumede earn?
As a municipal mayor, her yearly salary works out to be R1.35 million – which is roughly the same as what Julius Malema makes as the leader of a “minority party” in Parliament – it’s good work if you can get it.
That breaks down to monthly payments of R112 000. So, while eThekwini tries to fix the damage effectively caused by the mayoral department, Gumede will reel-in yet another six-figure payment.
The downfall of the eThekwini mayor
The ultimate undoing of Zandile Gumede has proved to be the illegal tender she awarded to Durban Solid Waste (DSW). The sanitation company were paid an inflated R25 million to provide 800 chemical toilets to the city.
Gumede and Human Settlements Chair Mondli Mthembu are also accused of keeping four service providers in their employ, without observing the correct legal channels. They are said to have flouted tender processes, and it’s reported they manipulated the way service supply chains work in Durban.
Even after their humbling appearance in court, there are still suspicions that the pair are up to no good: Not only does Zandile Gumede remain part of the ANC’s regional task team, but Mondli Mthembu could very well be in breach of his bail conditions.
Mthembu recently chaired a meeting which was directly linked to the DSW debacle. The committee he still presides over deals with both DSW and departmental unit heads. These are both mentioned in Mthembu’s bail conditions, and the DA’s Nicole Graham has confirmed the party are seeking intervention from Hawks on this matter.
DA blast Zandile Gumede as “hopeless”
As the opposition’s caucus leader in the municipality, Graham has been incredibly vocal about Gumede’s mayoral misdemeanours. In a statement shared on Monday, the DA representative lambasted the ANC for their “delaying tactics”, criticising their inability to oust her from a leadership position:
“This decision is an obvious indicator that the ANC put their politics first, and the well-being of eThekwini Municipality a distant second. Gumede has been a hopeless Mayor and should be booted from office.”
“This call by the DA has been supported by members of the public and fellow opposition parties. It should not take the ANC [so long] to know that eThekwini residents deserve proper service delivery and committed leadership.”
"The ANC must fire Zandile Gumede, they are letting down the people of eThekwini by continuously protecting the ‘comrade’ that is corrupt and compromised." @NicoleGraham031 DA EThekwini Caucus Leaderhttps://t.co/4BCb0KVstf pic.twitter.com/UCgiRBeO68
— DA KZN (@DA_KZN) June 7, 2019