FORMER eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede plans to defy the ANC’s decision for her to step aside as deputy co-ordinator of the eThekwini region.

Gumede’s spokesman Mzomuhle Dube told Daily Sun today she will challenge the decision and demand reasons to vacate her political position. Dube said Gumede has taken leave as legislature member in line with ANC’s call for members who face criminal charges to step aside but doesn’t agree to be stripped of her political powers.

Dube said if there were to be a conference tomorrow, Gumede would be elected chairwoman of the eThekwini region, so they didn’t accept the decision for her to step aside as deputy co-ordinator. “We view her arrest and this decision as a political plot to prevent her from being re-elected as regional chairwoman, so we can’t allow her to be stripped of her current political position in eThekwini.”

Yesterday, provincial ANC secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said there were 11 members in the province facing criminal charges. which the party is calling to the provincial office to formally tell them to step aside soon. In terms of the national executive committee’s decision on a member who faces criminal charges, he or she shouldn’t represent the party in government or public until cleared by either the court or the party’s integrity commission.

Gumede is expected to appear before the party next week after addressing supporters outside court carrying placards insulting ANC leaders.