Zandile Gumede and R389m corruption co-accused back in court
Durban – The high-profile corruption case of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and several co-accused is back before the Durban commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
Gumede and her co-accused, who are out on bail of various amounts, stand accused of alleged corruption over a 2017 Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender. It is alleged they pocketed kickbacks, amongst other accusations.
When the matter was to be heard in April this year, it emerged that the State was still not ready to start the case as it was still going through new information it obtained during a raid at the premises of all the accused earlier this year. It was then postponed to Thursday in order to give the state enough time to go through the documents obtained during the raids.
The Hawks initially placed the value of the alleged tender fraud at R208 million, but the tally has since ballooned to R389 million.
Gumede told Independent Media on Thursday she was not sure what the State's next move would be in court today as she was not able to contact her lawyer for an update.
“I have no idea what will happen in court and I will only be able to speak to my lawyer when we meet in court tomorrow morning,” Gumede said.
The spokesperson of the NPA in KZN, Natasha Kara could not say whether the State is finally ready to kick off the trial and whether this case will be pursued together with that of the former eThekwini city manager, Sipho Nzuza, who was also later charged with corruption emanating from the same tender.
“The matter is back in court tomorrow (Thursday). Please attend proceedings tomorrow to see what transpires,” Kara said in response to these questions.
Amid the uncertainty, Gumede’s supporters are crying “miscarriage of justice.” In a statement issued yesterday, the supporters said they warned the NPA and the Hawks against politicising the case and making arrests before investigating, but that fell on deaf ears.