Defiant Zandile Gumede blasts NPA over further delays of her case
Durban - A mere hours after bashing the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede threw another punch later in the week when she lambasted the two entities for applying a “reverse approach” while trying to nail her for alleged corruption.
In a strong-worded statement, Gumede, who was arrested with several others in May last year for having a corrupt hand in the R208 million waste tender of 2017, raised concerns and repeated assertions that she is a political target in a vexatious prosecution.
She further claimed that the two agencies were engaged in “a clear mission against my name as a political activist - for a mere political expediency.”
According to her, they should have gathered all the evidence they needed before dragging her to court.
“I am concerned that it has become a fast growing trend that our law enforcement agencies have employed a reverse approach in handling certain matters, especially those that involve politicians. As early as May 2018, they went public through media to announce (sic) my so-called “imminent arrest”. To our surprise, as late as 14 May 2019 the very same Hawks are not ready to proceed and surprisingly admit that the matter is not yet ready for trial and hence postponed to August 2019,” Gumede said in the statement.
Further lambasting the two state law enforcement agencies, Gumede asked why they are not ready to prosecute her after raiding her house in October last year.
“I am tempted to view this as serious abuse, misuse of power and a vehicle to achieve political expediency. The question is, what was the rush that I should be arrested and charged before Hawks can complete its investigations? Where are the charges?” she asked.
While addressing her supporters outside the Durban magistrate court after a brief appearance before the Durban commercial crimes court on Wednesday, she claimed that the NPA was “scrambling” to find evidence but said they would allow them “to look for it even under our feet.”
Gumede and her several co-accused will return to court in April 16 2020 after the State asked for more time to continue its investigation. This was after telling the court that after obtaining more documents and making more arrests, it is now looking at a figure of R389 million which is now at the centre of the high stakes corruption trial.
Despite several attempts made to contact with the prosecuting authority for a comment on Sunday, the entity was yet to respond to Gumede’s outburst and concerns.