OUTA calls ANC to honour its stand removing elected officials accused of criminal charges
OUTA’s KZN division is calling on the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal to stay true to its word and remove “comrades charged with serious crimes… from their positions in government, pending the conclusion of legal cases”.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) KZN provincial manager Tim Tyrrell, who yesterday called on eThekwini Metro Mayor Zandile Gumede to step down pending the finalisation of her criminal case, said the ANC should step in and ask for the Mayor’s removal in line with the special meeting of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) that was held on the 26th of March 2019.
“The resolutions taken by the ANC at the special meeting clearly states that the ANC would remove its elected leaders who are facing serious criminal charges. Mayor Zandile Gumede is facing serious charges of fraud, corruption, intimidation and breaking several laws. We believe this fits the ANC’s description of someone facing ‘serious crime’ and can help significantly to enable the 'new dawn' concept that government wants to implement,” said Tyrrell.
Gumede, along with 11 others are accused of being involved in a questionable R208-million tender involving the city’s sanitation department, Durban Solid Waste (DSW).
These transgressions include the contravention of:
• Sections 118, 173(4), 173(5)(a)(f) and 174 of the Municipal Finance Management Act;
• Sections 3 and 21 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act;
• Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act;
• Schedule 1 item 11 of the Local Government Municipal Services Act; and
• The Riotous Assemblies Act.
As recorded by the eNCA television report here on 26 March 2019, ANC KZN provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli read the special meeting resolutions into the record. The transcript is below.
“The extraordinary meeting of the ANC PEC was to make decisions which are in the best interests of the ANC and the affected comrade for all comrades charged with serious crimes to step aside from their positions in government, pending the conclusion of legal cases.”
“The PEC is very convinced that we have councillors that have been arrested since last year. Some of them are ward councillors which effectively means that they are incapable to discharge their responsibilities of being ward councillors. Our view as the PEC is that you can’t be a public representative who is incapable of representing the public,” said Ntuli. OUTA is of the view that the bail conditions imposed on the Mayor prevents Gumede from effectively doing her job.
Furthermore, her removal is a clear moral obligation to the citizens of eThekwini – who effectively pays the Mayor’s salary through rates and taxes - who deserve good governance underpinned by transparency and accountability. “President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly alluded to the need to clean up government. This is the perfect opportunity to put his words into action and do the right thing,” said Tyrrell.