Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede did not instigate looting, says lawyer
Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has denied having any involvement in the recent destruction and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
“She was not involved at all and she never met with any of the people who are being mentioned. She also did not participate in any WhatsApp group that planned instability in the two provinces,” said Gumede’s lawyer Bulelani Mazomba.
TimesLIVE reported on Monday that at least six people had been arrested, including former Ukhozi FM DJ Ngizwe Mchunu and Patriotic Alliance leader Bruce Nimmerhoudt, for their alleged role in the riots.
On Tuesday acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said more arrests were expected.
On Monday afternoon, Mazomba and Gumede opened a case of crimen injuria at the Mtshebheni police station in Inanda, north of Durban, after allegations that she may have been linked to the 12 instigators believed to be behind the violence that sought to destabilise the state.
“There was information circulated in the media last week which portrayed umam’Gumede as one of the instigators of the violence in KZN and Gauteng. The information is being circulated by faceless people with an unknown motive and they did this without asking umam’Gumede whether she was involved,” Mazomba said.
At this stage, he said, it was not known who was behind the allegations.
“If what they are saying is true they must come with their source and prove she is behind it and not come with baseless allegations because communities will start to believe they are true.”
When asked why Gumede did not call out those who were involved in the unrest, Mazomba said: “Which platform was she going to do this on and in what capacity? Because the ANC said she should not address any gathering in the name of the ANC. Her hands are tied. Even if she wanted to make an address, she was not allowed.
“She is distancing herself from her supporters and anyone who looted because that is lawlessness.”
At the weekend, former spy boss and SA ambassador to Japan Thulani Dlomo handed himself over to police after he was also linked to the violence and looting. He denied being involved.
Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase later told the media: “There is no evidence that has been brought to them [police] at this stage of any wrongdoing, as alleged in the newspapers. As a result they cannot charge him with anything. He is a free man for now.”