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Defence probes how some documents were obtained by the City for investigating Zandile Gumede and others

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede arriving at the Durban High Court on Tuesday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede arriving at the Durban High Court on Tuesday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Jul 19, 2023


Durban — Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s defence in the Durban High Court on Tuesday probed how Integrity Forensic Solutions (IFS) had come by documents while it was investigating tender irregularities within the municipality.

The irregularities involved former city manager Sipho Nzuza and others.

IFS was appointed to probe tender irregularities which led to Gumede and others being arrested for fraud and corruption.

The accused face more than 2 000 charges, including conspiracy to commit corruption, corruption, fraud, money laundering, racketeering, contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act and contravention of the Municipal Systems Act worth more than R300 million relating to a Durban Solid Waste tender.

Defence advocate Jay Naidoo cross-examined a city official, who asked not to be named, from the supply chain management about how the external company which was appointed by the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU) got some of the documents.

The official said her superiors had told her that when an investigating company that had been hired externally asked for documents, she had to find them. She told the court that Lucky, whom she had helped many times before, had asked for certain documents.

She told the court that her job was to advise, assist with documents that were requested and source them from specific departments. Naidoo asked her why some of the documents presented in court were missing pages.

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede arriving at the Durban High Court yesterday alongside her spokesperson, Ntando Khuzwayo. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

“It depends if I am swamped. I usually just give them what they need,” she said in response. He asked if she remembered when IFS had asked for the documents.

“Some time ago. I would not remember everything correctly,” she said.

She told the court that she had no idea if IFS had asked for the documents when it had concluded the investigation. Naidoo asked if the city had verified that it was giving the documents to the right people who were doing the investigation, to which the witness said that they had been given to the right people as Lucky worked for IFS. She also said that external investigation companies would have a letter that stated that they were appointed by the city to handle a certain investigation.

“I would go to my manager to say that I have received something like this and (what) information was requested, and I would be given a go ahead,” she told the court.

The defence on Monday told the court that it wanted the case dismissed because the CIIU had appointed IFS unlawfully to do the investigation.

Advocate Jimmy Howse, for the defence, said the unit had violated the processes of selecting a company to investigate this matter.

“The court should consider the investigation unlawful and irregular,” he said.

The trial continues today (Wednesday).

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