DURBAN - ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala says party members facing serious charges will be recalled if they refuse to voluntarily step aside while the party decides their fate.
The ANC's KZN Provincial Executive Committee has resolved that eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede who is facing fraud and corruption charges; take a 30-day leave of absence.
The embattled mayor says she respects and will abide by her party's PEC directive.
"I've been consulting with my lawyers because the issue is in court,” Gumede said.
“So, after the resolution of our ANC PEC from tomorrow, which is Monday, I'm gonna be taking a leave of absence."
Gumede denies defying her party's instructions to step aside.
"Not at all, they did not ask me to step aside,” she said.
“They said I must take 30 days leave of absence to make sure that I clear the air and also consult with my legal advisors so that I'm not gonna be having a cloud hanging. That's what has been happening. So, I'll never ever defy my leadership."
Zikalala is talking tough and has warned defiant members facing charges that their party membership will be at risk if they refuse to step down while the ANC finalises their fate.
"If that comrade doesn't follow that decision, it will mean we will have to recall that comrade, and not recalling him or her through negotiation, but recalling through convening the structure and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person," said Zikalala who was addressing the PECs Lekgotla in eMpangeni on the KZN north coast.
Gumede will know her fate within 30 days but the likelihood is that eThekwini will soon have a new mayor.
eNCA reporter Siphamandla Goge has more details in the video above.