The ANC Women’s League has acknowledged the axing of Zandile Gumede as eThekwini mayor and now needs a woman to supplant her.
ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba told the media outside the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial in Durban on Wednesday night that during the gathering with the provincial executive committee (PEC), the group enquired about Gumede’s replacement.
“We have requested the leadership of the ANC to say we have seen since 2016 that it seems to be a regression, and therefore we are requesting that the leadership of the ANC when they deal with the replacement (issue), women should be replaced by women and not men.
“That is our request and we do have an outstanding engagement with them, and of course we will continue to have an engagement at the national level,” said Matuba.
ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini chose to remain silent when asked to clarify her statement that Gumede was removed as mayor because she was a woman.
However, Matuba contradicted Dlamini who on Tuesday said Gumede was a victim of gender discrimination despite the ANC provincial leadership citing it removed her and Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo, because of the poor performance of their municipalities. Matuba said the league would abide by the PEC decision on Gumede.
“We are saying whichever position that has been taken by the ANC, as we are also members of the ANC, we have to abide by the decision of the ANC,” said Matuba.
Dlamini and Matuba arrived at the ANC provincial office at about 1 pm and remained inside the building where they attended a meeting with the PEC until 5 pm. Matuba said the league was satisfied that the decision to remove Gumede came after an assessment made on the performance of the municipality.
“If there is assessment we know that, as the deployers of the ANC, you will be assessed and definitely after receiving the outcome you will be told that these are the practical steps that the ANC would take in terms of correcting or improving on its services,” she said.
While journalists were waiting to interview Dlamini, leaders who were believed to be members of the deployment committee were seen entering the building. Repeated attempts to elicit responses from Dlamini failed as she just placed a finger on her mouth while directing the media to Matuba.
Soon after the PEC announced recalling Zandile, Dlamini was reported to have said in Joburg that in the party there was “a culture of removing women from positions of power”.
“In local government, we started at 45% but we have gone down now. “The only thing we want is to change. The ANC must stop speaking in tongues. (It) must treat everyone equally, male and female,” Dlamini reportedly said.
Gumede apparently told News24 that she would write to the ANC’s NEC asking why she had been branded incompetent. “ All I wish to know is the process. They (the NEC) must say why they call me incompetent. I’m a leader internationally. I have accolades, they must prove how and why,” Gumede said.
Repeated attempts to obtain comment from her failed.