Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede at the Durban Magistrate's Court. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban – The amount involved in the alleged fraud and corruption perpetrated by former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and her co-accused in a Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender has risen to R389 million, a Durban court heard on Wednesday.

The matter against Gumede was postponed to April 16 for further investigation after she appeared alongside her co-accused at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, initially placed the value of the alleged tender fraud at R208 million.

National Prosecuting Authority KwaZulu-Natal spokeswoman Natasha Kara told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that a search and seizure operation last October had yielded a second lot of documents at the home of one of the people accused alongside the former mayor.

“This has obviously warranted further investigation,” Kara said, adding that the state had to thoroughly analyse the information in its possession pertaining to the case before the matter could proceed.

Leaving the courtroom, Gumede told journalists that she was “very sad” that “the issue has not come to a rest”.

“But what can we do? They are the powers, so we must just wait," she said, adding that she still had not been served with a charge sheet.

Gumede is currently out on R50 000 bail.

The former mayor was expected to address her supporters – who took part in a night vigil outside the court the previous day - later on Wednesday.

The other accused in the case are DSW deputy head for strategic and new developments Robert Abbu, the city’s supply chain manager and chairman of the bid adjudication committee Sandile Ngcobo and city councillor Mondli Mthembu, former chair of the municipality’s infrastructure committee.

The remainder of those charged are companies represented in court by their owners. 

All face charges of fraud, fraud by omission, corruption, contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act, contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, contravention of the Organised Crime Act and contravention of the Local Government Municipal Act.

Gumede and Mthembu face further charges in terms of the Riotous Assemblies Act for allegedly instigating an illegal gathering last April during which the then mayor’s supporters called for the axing of city manager Sipho Nzuza, who allegedly refused to sign off on payments related to the dodgy tender.

African News Agency/ANA