Mayor Zandile : Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Durban mayor Zandile Gumede said she was “tired” of people who portrayed her as unfit to hold office and were bent on dividing the ANC in eThekwini, the party’s biggest region in the country.

“The forces against transformation will do everything in their power in order to distract me from focusing on matters of service delivery,” she said.

Earlier this week, she approached the Durban High Court seeking an order against people who defamed her. Her application was successful.

“The high court is a good step towards clearing my name and that of my organisation,” Gumede said.

Despite this, she said she was unfazed.

“I want to reiterate that we have joined forces with the SAPS and other organisations within the forensic fraternity to identify and investigate a variety of fraud and corruption activities within the municipality.”

Gumede was reacting to a report by a weekly newspaper that she was being investigated by the Hawks alongside ANC councillor Mondli Mthembu over allegations of fraud and money laundering amounting to millions of rand.

Gumede said she took exception to campaigns mounted in various sections of society which painted her as a corrupt leader who influenced the awarding and cancellation of tenders.

She said this bordered on defaming her character and that of her party, the ANC.

Gumede said she had zero tolerance for fraud and corruption.

“Fraud and corruption undermine the value, vision and mission of our municipality and that of our nation. The City Integrity and Investigation Unit is solely intended to tackle the fraud, corruption and maladministration that is hampering service delivery within the municipality,” she said.

Contrary to the claims that she protected her allies who were allegedly involved in corrupt activities, Gumede said: “I can confirm that, as the municipality, we work very well with all law enforcement agencies that are normally brought on board in order to ensure successful prosecution and conviction.”

She added that she remained disturbed about the “selective leaks” of ongoing investigations in the city.

She said the leaks weakened their cases “and undermine our processes such as disciplinary matters”.

“The accused get to be armed with information beforehand - we need to strengthen that part in order to achieve objectivity at all material times,” she said.

Gumede’s term as mayor expires in 2021.

Sunday Tribune