Zandile Gumede: Anger as former mayor flies business class to SONA_1

Some guests at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday 13 February were surprised to see Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede seated in the main chamber of the National Assembly. 


According to the Democratic Alliance (DA), that wasn’t the only cause for surprise. It is believed that Gumede also flew to Cape Town, comfortably seated in business class. 


“Who paid for this?” asked DA eThekwini Caucus Leader Nicole Graham. 

Gumede represents SALGA 


The blue party were not only there to listen to the president’s speech, but also to observe its opposition like a Hawk on its prey.  


Graham went on to say that Gumede’s place card at SONA indicated she was representing SALGA, also known as the South African Local Government Association, which is a public entity that accounts to Parliament. The role of SALGA is to “represent, promote and protect” the interests of local government.


“Gumede, who is out on R50 000 bail for fraud and corruption, now totalling R389 million, remains it’s Deputy President. She attended the SALGA National Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday in Durban, indicating that she remains very much involved in its business,” said Graham. 


“Whilst President Ramaphosa waxed lyrical about cutting corruption and state corruption, the woman who brought eThekwini to its knees sat directly in front of him and applauded,” she added. 

Ramaphosa’s SONA speech nothing but a contradiction 


According to the DA’s statement, Gumede has since her arrest in May 2019, remained Mayor for three months at a salary of R115 000 per month. 


After her “recall”, she has stayed on as an ordinary councillor in eThekwini. 


“This means that in addition to the huge bill of fraud and corruption, she has earned almost R600 000 of taxpayers money whilst out on bail,” said Graham. 


“A further four Councillors have been arrested, but the other 56 mentioned in the court proceedings as having worked with Gumede to execute her corrupt schemes remain unaccounted for. If Ramaphosa was serious about corruption, he wouldn’t allow Zandile Gumede anywhere near a red carpet,” she added. 

Here’s what SALGA is expected to do  


According to its website, SALGA is listed as a Schedule 3A public entity and is therefore accountable for its revenue and expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999. It is called to account to Parliament annually on its performance and expenditure as a consequence of its listing in terms of the Act.


SALGA is funded through a combination of sources, including primarily membership fees (81%), donations from the donor community for specific projects (6%), other sources (9%) and a small annual allocation from the national fiscus (4%).


SALGA, in an article on their website, praised Jacob Zuma during his reign as president, as well as the auditor general (AG), for maintaining that excessive and wasteful expenditure must be reduced at all levels of government. 


“This can only be a good thing for municipalities that struggle to make ends meet, as well as those that perpetually receive qualified audit reports from the AG,” it said. 


“Fortunately, the back-to-basics approach that was introduced in September 2014 has been effective in curbing excessive and wasteful expenditure in municipalities, ensuring that more money is available for services than ever before,” it added.