Zandile Gumede supporters anticipate corruption charges to be withdrawn
Durban - Loyal backers of former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, anticipate that the Durban Commercial Crimes Court will on Wednesday withdraw the charges against her should the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) says it is not yet ready to go to trial.
About 1 000 supporters spent Tuesday night holding a vigil outside the court ahead of the much-anticipated appearance which the same supporters vehemently claiming it has been polluted by political interference.
Speaking on behalf of the supporters, Mzomuhle Dube, told Independent Media that they hope that the presiding magistrate would follow up on the previous indication that should the NPA not be ready to start the trial, the charges may be provisionally withdrawn. He added that with their understanding is that “the NPA will never be ready” to proceed to the trial stage of the case.
“We are praying that at least she (the magistrate) actually gives relief to Mama Gumede because for us it’s not justice when you have more than nine months keeping someone under the auspices of allegations that has actually been unpresented and cannot be proven. So basically that is what we are expecting. If the charges can be withdrawn, it’s well and good for us, we will have a better day,” Dube said.
VIDEO: Some of the supporters of former eThekwini mayor, #ZandileGumede, singing "Wenzeni Umama" ahead of her appearance before the Durban commercial crimes court in an hours' time. Gumede is accused of corruption, charges her supporters claims are politically motivated. pic.twitter.com/Jg9u3EfHiB— Sihle Mavuso (@SANewsBot) January 15, 2020
The spokesperson of the NPA in KZN, Natasha Kara when asked whether they are ready to proceed with the trial or if they will request another postponement, said: “The matter is in court tomorrow (Wednesday); kindly attend the proceedings to follow what transpires.”
Gumede, who is out on R50 000 bail, was arrested in May last year after months of speculations. The State accuses her and the others of illegally benefiting from R208m waste tender that was issued by eThekwini municipality in 2017 while she was still the mayor.
On Tuesday, Gumede told Independent Media that she is going to definitely address her supporters after the appearance.