eThekwini city manager granted R50,000 bail over irregular tender
The amount of irregular expenditure due to collusion between senior eThekwini officials and service providers in the controversial Durban Solid Waste (DSW) debacle now stands at R430m.
This was revealed during the appearance of the eThekwini city manager, Sipho Nzuza, at the Durban commercial crimes court on Tuesday.
Nzuza handed himself in on Tuesday morning and will be the 17th accused in an ongoing tender corruption case related to the awarding of work to contractors for a 2016 DSW tender.
During proceedings, prosecutor Ashika Lucken revealed that Nzuza would now join a long list of other accused, including former mayor Zandile Gumede.
Lucken told magistrate Garth Davis that Nzuza had acted in common purpose, colluding with certain service providers, to an excess of R100,000.
She said there had been irregularities in the procurement process in which a number of service providers were contracted but were not on the municipality's database.
Lucken said this was deemed by the state as deliberate and unlawful employment of service providers and formed part of a “premeditated agenda”.
She said Nzuza had extended the DSW contract in 2018 while he was well aware there were no more funds.
“Upon investigation it was revealed that only the accused aligned himself with one of the service providers.”
She said allegations that Nzuza received kickbacks from this specific service provider were “investigated”.
Lucken said the state would not oppose bail but would put forward a list of stringent conditions related to the surrendering of Nzuza's passport and travel documents to the investigating officer.
Nzuza's representative, advocate Doda Madonsela, read out an affidavit by Nzuza in which he stated his gross monthly salary was R300,000, that he had a previous conviction for a driving-related charge and that he would comply with investigations.
“I have an interest in this matter being finalised expeditiously, particularly as my name is all I have,” the affidavit reads.
Davis granted Nzuza bail of R50,000 and the case was postponed to April 16, when Nzuza will appear alongside Gumede and the other accused in the matter.