eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza said he will not vacate his office Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza said he will not vacate his office Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Zandile Gumede co-accused tells mayor Mxolisi Kaunda he won’t vacate his office

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Sep 29, 2020

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Durban - The city manager of eThekwini municipality, Sipho Nzuza, says he is not going to vacate his position because he is ready to clear his name in court but the trial is being delayed by the state.

Nzuza is one of the 17 accused in the R430 million waste tender corruption case which is before the Durban commercial crimes court.

While Gumede, a former mayor who served with him, was arrested earlier, Nzuza was only arrested in March this year after his offer to be a state witness in the case was turned down.

His stance that he is not going anywhere is contained in a letter he wrote on Monday to eThekwini mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda and council speaker, Weziwe Thusi.

In the leaked letter, Nzuza was addressing Kaunda who allegedly tried to coerce him not to return to work until a decision has been taken about his employment by the municipality.

The letter further revealed the pain Nzuza was undergoing because of the case.

“It is a matter of public record that I am (in my view, spuriously) criminally charged and currently attending those court proceedings. A remarkable feature of the criminal matter is that it is bedevilled by repeated adjournments. At the height of these adjournments, I was steeped in deep preparations. The objective was to put an end to the criminal charade,” Nzuza wrote.

In response, Nzuza said it was malicious for Kaunda to claim that by returning to work he was likely to breach his bail conditions and risk being arrested and kept in custody until the case gets underway.

“The special leave has served its purpose. The prosecutorial stratagems to further delay the criminal matter have not abated… Thirdly, regard to bail conditions imposed on me by the criminal court is a diversion. The criminal court and the prosecutorial team are well placed to deal with any non-compliance with bail conditions.

“It would be foolhardy of me to breach bail conditions when doing so would potentially mean that I will forfeit my bail. The suggestion that I cannot return to work when required until such conditions are discussed has no merit,” he said to Kaunda.

Kaunda’s spokesperson, Mluleki Mtungwa, said he is “not aware of the letter” but Nzuza’s future with the municipality will be discussed during a full council meeting billed for Wednesday.

“The city will be able to respond to matters pertaining to the city manager after the council meeting tomorrow (Wednesday),” Mtungwa said.

Political Bureau

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