- Minutes after being re-elected president of ANC eThekwini, Zandile Gumede called for a review of the party’s withdrawal rule.
- Gumede defeated ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ally Tbani Nyawose.
- Gumede’s second-in-command, Themba Ntuli, said the other newly elected leaders were ready to take on leadership responsibilities while Gumede dealt with his court case.
Newly elected ANC eThekwini chairwoman Zandile Gumede said she believed the party should repeal its withdrawal policy.
The policy states that party leaders who have been criminally charged must resign from office until their cases are finalized.
Gumede scored a major political victory on Sunday night by defeating ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ally Tbani Nyawose.
In the hotly contested leadership race, Gumede received 210 votes, compared to 181 votes for Nyawose.
After her victory, she admitted that while she may not be objective about the party’s withdrawal policy because it affects her, she would like the rule to be repealed.
“I think the ANC needs to rethink this. It’s painful,” she said.
Gumede said the charges against her were unclear and she hoped for a quick resolution to her case.
Gumede’s second-in-command, Themba Ntuli, said the fact that the newly elected regional president would be forced to step down would not have too much effect on the work of the new administration.
He said that the ANC was an organization whose leadership did its work collectively. According to him, the party will continue in this way with the three available members until Gumede and treasurer Nomthandazo Shabalala, who is also facing charges with Gumede, are given the opportunity to resume their duties.
The elected leaders of eThekwini pledged to uphold unity between the two ANC factions that were vying for the top five positions.
“Our role as leaders is to embrace everyone and adopt an attitude of cordial relationship,” said Musa Nciki, who was elected regional secretary.
“We respect our opponents and demand that they respect us and work hand in hand with us,” Ncika said.
While regional leaders were coy in answering questions about the election of a person who had been forced to step down due to criminal charges, ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe said that the national party structure would deliberate on the matter.
“The ANC national working committee will meet on Monday and discuss this very issue. There will also be another extended meeting which will discuss this issue, and we will inform the public of the results,” Mabe said.