From corruption charges to KZN MPL — Five must-read stories on embattled Zandile Gumede

20 August 2020 - 08:36 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

The return of embattled former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to the political arena has been widely criticised by the public and opposition parties. Gumede and 17 others are implicated in allegations of corruption and fraud which relate to the R430m Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender from 2016.

Gumede is accused of using her political power to influence the awarding of tenders to service providers who were not on the city’s database.  

Here are five must-read stories on Gumede:

The charges and court appearance — May 2019

Gumede and co-accused former chairperson of the infrastructure committee Mondli Mthembu appeared before the Durban commercial crimes court where they faced charges of fraud and corruption in connection with the DSW tender.

They appeared alongside service provider Craig Ponnan of El Shaddai Holdings group CC. They were each granted R50,000 bail.

The bail conditions of Mthembu and Gumede prevented them from communicating with members of DSW and supply management. According to Times Select, their arrest followed reports of intimidation of witnesses.

Property raids — October 2019

Zandile Gumede’s properties in Inanda, Zimbali and Amanzimtoti were raided and items including cash and luxury cars were seized.

KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara told TimesLIVE that the items seized were believed to be the proceeds of crime in relation to the multimillion-rand fraud and corruption case.

Gumede 'waiting on charges' after May arrest — October 2019

Gumede told Times Select in October last year that she had not received a formal charge sheet from the Hawks, months after her arrest in May 2019.

“I’m still awaiting the charges. I am going to be glad once I see the charges because I was arrested without charges and they said I must wait for them. Instead of the charges, here come the Hawks to check the properties that I own and everything,” she said.

Gumede takes shots at Hawks — January 2020

The former mayor took to Twitter in January to question the manner in which she was arrested in May last year.

She shared screenshots of notes she had typed from her phone which were titled “arrest to investigate or investigate to arrest”.

Gumede accused enforcement agencies of using a reversed approach when dealing with matters involving politicians. She also made reference to her raid from October last year and said it was a way to “tarnish” her name as a political activist.

Her return as MPL — August 2020

Gumede was sworn in as an MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on Tuesday. She replaces Ricardo Mthembu, the former Cogta portfolio committee chairperson who died of Covid-19 related complications in July.

Gumede welcomed her appointment saying “the ANC does not make any mistakes”. She thanked the chief whip and speaker for a “warm welcome”. 

“As women, we must be proud of this day. I am very happy,” she said.

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