Race to fill va­cant lead­ers’ po­si­tions

ANC tight-lipped about Gumede’s suc­ces­sor

Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - SIHLE MAVUSO AND SAMKELO MTSHALI

WHILE the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal re­mains tight-lipped about who will likely re­place axed eThek­wini mayor Zandile Gumede, for­mer deputy mayor Nomvuzo Sha­bal­ala is be­lieved to be the front-run­ner among sev­eral names be­ing touted for the po­si­tion, in­clud­ing those of prom­i­nent MECs in the pro­vin­cial cab­i­net.

Amid pre­dic­tions made on the side­lines and Gumede vow­ing to fight her re­moval, the party yesterday in­di­cated it was rush­ing against time to fill va­cant po­si­tions in the eThek­wini and Msun­duzi mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, as the two cities were cur­rently with­out lead­ers.

Pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Mdu­miseni Ntuli said the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee would meet to­day to dis­cuss who would fill the cru­cial po­si­tions.

“We will have our first meet­ing to­mor­row about how we deal with eThek­wini and Msun­duzi. It would be the be­gin­ning of that dis­cus­sion. It would be a meet­ing as well that would al­low re­gions to make sub­mis­sions to con­cre­tise va­can­cies that we are deal­ing with,” Ntuli said.

He added that the meet­ing would also give clarity and an­swers re­gard­ing who was to be named the mayor of Harry Gwala, the mayor of Ugu and the deputy mayor of New­cas­tle, and who would be ap­pointed as the speaker.

Sha­bal­ala left the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 2016 to­gether with Gumede’s pre­de­ces­sor, James Nx­u­malo.

She is now a mem­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly rep­re­sent­ing KZN.

“I don’t see James Nx­u­malo com­ing back to work with the same peo­ple who em­bar­rassed him. Maybe Nomvuzo can con­sider com­ing back to be mayor, but not James. He was badly treated,” said an ANC mem­ber in the re­gion.

With no for­mal struc­ture of the ANC in the re­gion, it is un­known who will get the po­si­tions of eThek­wini’s deputy mayor, speaker, chief whip and the chairs of the re­spec­tive committees.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties in want the dys­func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to be placed un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion, and a by-elec­tion to be held.

DA cau­cus leader in eThek­wini Ni­cole Gra­ham said now that Gumede was gone, they were pre­pared to work

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| DOC­TOR NGCOBO African News Agency (ANA)

THERE has been a high po­lice pres­ence out­side the city hall and ANC of­fices in Dur­ban since news broke of the ax­ing of mayor Zandile Gumede. Po­lice are said to be an­tic­i­pat­ing protest ac­tion from Gumede’s sup­port­ers.

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