Gumede backers: Political interference partly to blame for 'embarrassing' raids by Hawks
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Durban - The political backers of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede say they will not rule out political interference as a factor in the "embarrassing" raids of her properties on Thursday morning.
The long-time spokesman of the backers, Mzomuhle Dube, who was at Gumede's Inanda township home when the raid took place, said there was a possibility that the raids of two properties were meant to derail her campaign as she is a "frontrunner" in the upcoming ANC's regional elections.
Dube said what was more worrying was that the raids took place days before ANC branches in the eThekwini region start convening to nominate their preferred candidates ahead of the crucial elective conference which is expected to be held before the end of the year.
Gumede is up against the faction of Thabani Nyawose and her former ally, Bheki Ntuli.
Dube said overlooking the political element in this would be naive as Gumede is a heavyweight politician in the region.
Mzomuhle Dube says they cannot rule out politics after raids of Zandile Gumede's properties. Video: Sihle Mavuso
However, speaking from the same property, the spokesperson of the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said the raids have nothing to do with politics.
He said Gumede committed a grave offence by vacating an address she listed in her bail application in May and that could land her in jail.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi denies their raids is influenced by politics. Video: Sihle Mavuso
The Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) are seeking to seize and preserve assets worth R250 million from those accused in the R208 million eThekwini municipality waste tender until their case is concluded. Should they lose the case, the state would take the assets.
Mulaudzi insisted that they always steer clear out of politics when doing their work.