Former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, has been appointed by the ANC as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature, despite being out on bail for her part in a multi-million rand corruption scandal.
A year after she was dismissed as eThekwini mayor, Gumede has been appointed to the legislature on the ticket of the ANC, which holds the majority of the 80 seats. She is currently out on R50,000 bail for her alleged involvement in the corruption scandal regarding the awarding of tenders in eThekwini in 2017. IOL reported on Gumede’s reaction to the appointment, where she said she hopes to still be involved with eThekwini and also that she feels relieved to have been appointed during Women’s Month.
“Well, I am not completely lost to eThekwini as branches of the ANC still want me to be their regional chairperson. I only left the local government sphere, but since I am a member of the ANC I will still be active in eThekwini.
“Regarding my deployment as a member of the provincial legislature, God and the ANC have wiped my tears as you will recall that what happened last year, happened during this month. Equally, I am happy that this appointment came at the right time, during the month of women,” Gumede said.
Gumede also hit out at people questioning her appointment, given her history and the ongoing corruption case against her.
“I have noted the nasty comments from the public. What they must know is that up to today, the state has not even formulated charges against me yet they have concluded (their opinions) about me. So people must know that and stick to the established principle of one being presumed innocent until proven guilty,” she said.
The ANC in KZN also issued a statement of their own, saying that Gumede’s appointment isn’t an issue because she is considered to be innocent until proven guilty.
“The ANC KZN is fully aware of detractors who will seek to use Cde Gumede’s ongoing court case to criticise the appointment, however, we subscribe to the notion of innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in our justice system and, as such, there is nothing untoward about the appointment of Cde Gumede,” their statement read.
“As a firm believer in women empowerment, the ANC KZN is confident that Cde Gumede, with her experience, is a worthwhile addition to the legislature.”
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