Following the installment of the new mayor of eThekwini, the former mayor of the municipality Zandile Gumede made a thrilling entrance to the city’s full council meeting on Thursday where voting got underway to elect the new executive. The absence of the former mayor was noticeable at the start of proceedings at 10am; she arrived shortly before 12pm.

Upon her entrance, She greeted her comrades, many of who smiled and roared. She was also seen hugging her former deputy Fawzia Peer. The two hugging was significant as there have been reports that relations between the two had been cold.

Prior to when the voting started, there was a debate over the process as the ANC wanted a direct vote for the council speaker, while other parties wanted for there to be due process and a presiding officer elected; the proceedings are currently being conducted by Sipho Nzuza, who is the city manager and acting chairperson for this full council meeting.

The ANC has nominated former Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda as mayor, and former Finance MEC, Belinda Scott as deputy Mayor. Weziwe Thusi has been nominated as speaker. Security have locked the doors of city hall as councillors vote via secret ballot for the new executive.

Gumede along with the entire executive committee of eThekwini Municipality were forced to resign by the provincial ANC last month who cited the city’s poor management and performance as reason for the axing; she however withdrew her resignation last week causing a stand still to the party’s next function.

The former mayor is currently fighting corruption charges relating to a R208 million Durban Solid Waste tender scandal. Voting for council speaker is still underway as 199 ballots have been printed. She is expected to continue as an ordinary councillor.