By SIHLE MAVUSO
Taking the cue from former President Jacob Zuma and appearing defiant despite a political storm, embattled eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, says she is a “wounded warrior who has been beaten by her own comrades.”
Speaking for the first time since the KZN ANC provincial executive committee disbanded the regional executive committee (REC) of the eThekwini region, Gumede used Zuma’s favourite line that he is a wounded warrior who has been beaten by his own comrades.
Zuma often makes the reference in song, by singing “Sengimanxenxeba zinsizwa zangakithi, zinsizwa engakhula nazo”, which loosely means I am deeply wounded because of injuries inflicted by my own brothers.
It is expected that the KZN ANC will ask Gumede to take a 30 day leave of office so they can decide on her future. Gumede is facing fraud and corruption charges linked to a R208 million waste tender and a separate probe by the Hawks into whether she violated her bail conditions.
“The eThekwini council is unique because it is led by a woman, a woman who is deeply wounded and has been wounded by her own comrades. A woman who is trampled upon but still rise because God is on her side,” she tolds mourners, including ANC supporters, who applauded her.
I have sadly learned that Comrade Zandile Gumede has been charged with corruption. I hope it is not politically motivated and that the state has enough evidence to substantiate this charge. I speak from experience from my own politically motivated charges.
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) May 19, 2019
Gumede said this on Sunday at the funeral of deceased Councillor Bonke Amstrong Chilli. Also present at the funeral were some members of the party who are close to her, like Councillor Nkosenhle Madlala, Neli Nyanisa, the ANC’s chief whip in the eThekwini municipality.
In her 10 minute address, Gumede seemed to imply that there was still a regional executive committee in the eThekwini region. As she greeted the mourners according to their rank, she even said “I also greet members of the REC present here”.
In the latter part of her speech, Gumede who was wearing an ANC doek and scarf, then dwelled on the life of Chili and said nothing about her party’s decision to give her a 30 day leave of absence.
Video: Siphamandla Goge of eNCA