PICS AND VIDEOS: Hawks head to Inanda, zero in on Zandile Gumede's assets
Durban - The Hawks and members of the National Prosecuting Agency's Asset Forfeiture Unit moved in on the Inanda property of former eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede after discovering that she no longer stayed at a plush property in Durban North where they initially went.
The authorities were granted a court order to carry out the raids on Gumede - and her alleged accomplices - on Thursday in relation to an R280 million dodgy tender within the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) department.
Simultaneous raids were conducted on the homes of her co-accused, including former councillor Mondli Mthembu, former eThekwini supply chain head Sandile Ngcobo and businessman Robert Aboo.
At the crack of dawn on Thursday, the Hawks and the AFU raided home in Illchester Avenue in Durban North but discovered that Gumede only rented the property and had vacated it in July. They then moved to her home in Inanda where they hoped to serve her the court order.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the raids were a continuation of their investigation into corruption in eThekwini and would continue throughout the day.
He said they would be seizing cars and other assets alongside members of the AFU.
Natasha Kara spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson said the raids were conducted simultaneously on several properties, including Gumede's Umhlanga home and properties in Zimbali and Amanzimtoti.
Gumede, who was recently relieved of her mayoral position by the ANC is currently in facing fraud, corruption and racketeering charges, along with nine other people in the Durban Commercial Crime Court.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Hawk's National Clean Audit Task Team (NCATT) investigation at the eThekwini Municipality that also saw DSW deputy head, Robert Abbu and the city's supply chain manager, Sandile Ngcobo arrested in relation to the tender.
The other suspects in the matter are, Hlenga Sibisi, 43, Mzwandile Dludla, 24, Sinthamone Ponnan, 55, Sithulele Mkhize, 38, Bongani Dlomo, 53, and Prabagaram Pariah, 61.
According to reports, the Hawks had launched the investigation into Gumede following a forensic investigation into the awarding of a contract to hire and clean chemical toilets.
A forensic report, compiled by Integrity Forensic Solutions which had been commissioned by the council’s own City Integrity and Investigations Unit, found that Gumede, Mthembu, and three officials orchestrated a tender scam which saw eThekwini pay R25 million to hire and clean chemical toilets for six months. The same council had previously paid R3 million to hire the same toilets for three years.
The report found that Mthembu, Gumede and three other officials had a hand in the scam.
Gumede has vehemently denied the allegations.