Jul 20, 2024
Politics

Ex-Mayor, Zandile Gumede’s trial begins

EThekwini’s former mayor, Zandile Gumede, and 21 others accused to trial are set to begin Monday 18 July 2022, at the Durban High Court. Gumede is facing multiple charges including corruption charges linked to dodgy Durban solid waste tender for over R300 million.

Gumede and 21 co-accused stand accused of 2,793 counts of conspiracy to commit corruption, corruption, fraud, money laundering, and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act, among others. Gumede says she remains confident and says the state has no case against her as she was not an executive mayor at the time questioned ” I did not deal with supply chain. The issue is with administration and contractors, not with politicians,” Gumede said.

Gumede-number one, is named as being among the main role players in the state’s indictment sheet. 21 co-accused, including the city’s former municipal manager Sipho Nzuza, three sitting ANC councillors, and a former councillor, Durban Solid Waste senior manager, service providers, and the former head of the city’s bid adjudication committee. According to the state’s charges, Gumede received an estimated R2,881,350 in kickbacks between January 2017 and July 2019 for ensuring predetermined businesses benefited from the city’s waste contracts. R45 million had been budgeted for the contract and the extension of the contract by Gumede’s co-accused, former senior councillor Mthembu and Sipho Nzuza overran the contract to R320,995,973.33.

Gumede’s supporters came in numbers to court as she enters the trial with strong political backing, as she was re-elected as the ANC’s eThekwini region chairperson in April.