eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede has been called on to step down following her appearance in court on Tuesday in connection with alleged fraud and corruption. Councillor Mondli Mthembu is her co-accused in the matter.
"Unless the mayor is able to clear her name, she should step down and put the city's needs first, allowing her time to fight this matter in court," said Tim Tyrrell, Organisation Undoing Taxi Abuse (Outa) provincial manager.
Tyrrell said Gumede's very restrictive bail conditions would make it difficult for her to work because she cannot carry out her duties in full or at all, and is not allowed to communicate with officials linked to the audit of Durban Solid Waste (DSW), which is linked to her fraud and corruption charges.
Gumede appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court, amid chaotic scenes outside court where her supporters raised bags and jackets to block her from being photographed.
The court appearance followed her and Mthembu's arrest in connection with a multi-million rand waste removal tender. They had handed themselves over to police.
She was granted R50 000 bail, along with Mthembu, who is also the chairperson of the human settlements and infrastructure committee.
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in eThekwini also called on Gumede to resign. It said the fact that she is chairperson of the ANC in eThekwini and mayor "warrants an appeal to her consciousness".
"It is the considered view of the [ANCYL] that [comrade] Zandile Gumede must resign in order to take time and focus on mounting a defense against these serious charges..."
The youth league expects her to be so preoccupied with preparing her defense against a possible sentence of 15 years if found guilty, that she will not have time to attend to official duties.
Their next court appearance is scheduled for August 8.