South Africa reacts to firing of embattled Durban mayor Zandile Gumede

South Africa reacts to firing of embattled Durban mayor Zandile Gumede

- The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal announced on Tuesday that it would axing Durban mayor Zandile Gumede

- This prompted various responses from the public

- Some praised the decision, while others speculated that it may not be the end for Gumede, suggesting that she could turn up in another government position

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The ANC's KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) resolved on Tuesday to fire embattled Durban mayor Zandile Gumede.

Gumede faces allegations of fraud and corruption in connection to a R200 million Durban Solid Waste tender. She has been out on R50 000 bail.

Her dismissal - which followed months of debate within the party - drew many responses from the public.

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One notable aspect of Gumede's firing is that it had nothing to do with the corruption charges against her, has gathered. 

"The decision to remove and redeploy is purely and solely on the basis of our assessment of the state of the municipality," said a spokesperson for the PEC.

This has prompted some commentators to speculate that Gumede may return to government in some other capacity. In other words, the speculation is that the ANC is not really taking permanent action against Gumede. Indeed, one political analyst said that the ANC's decision was not motivated by the interests of the public, but rather political expediency.

Radio 702's Bongani Bingwa, for example, took to social media to question how Gumede could be redeployed in another post if the ANC had found that she was "possibly corrupt and at best incompetent".

Public interest lawyer Richard Spoor took a similar angle, saying, "Great news that Ethekwini mayor Zandike Gumede is to be redeployed by the ANC. It would have been very sad if this tried and corrupted stalwart were lost to the revolution."

Several readers also weighed in on social media with their opinions. A few of them welcomed the decision to fire Gumede.

"About time that the ANC started to clean house," wrote one, Michael van Zyl.

Another, under the name Ricardo Gamble, agreed, saying, "Thank you Lord. It has been long overdue."

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Some reactions on social media were a little more lighthearted, however, with many turning Gumede's firing into jokes and memes.

One social media user, Raul Sekwati, said that it was ironic that Gumede had enjoyed so much support from former president Jaocb Zuma, only to be axed by PEC chair Sihle Zakala, a Ramaphosa loyalist.

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