Gumede denies involvement in protest calling for her reinstatement as mayor - report

Suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has denied any involvement in the protests calling for her to be reinstated which led to the arrest of several people on Thursday. 

In an interview with news channel eNCA, Gumede said her supporters were not acting on her directive and, had she known who they were, she would have cautioned them against the protest. 

"I wish to apologise to those who expected me to come back. For now, nothing. I have just seen from the media that the organisation [ANC] is continuing with its internal investigation. I have faith it will be finished soon so that a decision can be taken." 

A group of her ardent supporters refused to leave ANC headquarters in Durban on Tuesday, saying they were demanding an audience with provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, according to News24.

The hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside the ANC's KwaZulu-Natal offices.

The delegation wanted to negotiate with provincial leaders, including provincial ANC deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu.

No time to rest

Gumede is currently facing corruption charges in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court, relating to a Durban Solid Waste tender. She was put on 30 days "special leave" by the provincial executive, pending the outcome of their investigation. News24 reported.

On Tuesday, News24 learnt that her "special leave" would be extended. In the interview, Gumede said she had only found out that it would be extended through the media. 

"I am waiting for my leaders to let me know when I come back. It's important to adhere to this, because you don't deploy yourself, but the organisation deploys you.

She said that she she was enjoying her time off, "because when you work in the organisation and in council you hardly get time to rest".

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