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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Zandile Gumede, co-accused back in court for R340M fraud case

Gumede is also accused of using her political status to influence the appointment of senior eThekwini personnel

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 co-accused are expected back in court on Monday.

According to the indictment, Gumede is alleged to have directly or indirectly received R2,8 million in kickbacks from service providers who won an irregular R340 million Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender in 2017.

The kickbacks, paid in eight separate tranches between 2017 and 2019, were allegedly either deposited straight into Gumede’s bank account, her daughter’s, sibling’s, or an accomplice’s.

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The payments all took place while Gumede was still mayor, and were not disclosed to the municipality as required by law.

She is also accused of using her political status to influence the appointment of senior eThekwini personnel responsible for supply-chain management, as well as legal matters and human resources.

Gumede has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The case was heard in November last year, at which time it was postponed to allow some of the accused to be furnished with particulars by the State so that they could prepare their defence.

The presiding judge set July 18 [this year] as a possible date for the matter to reach a stage when the court can hear evidence.

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The indictment lists Gumede as a key figure in the case.

 In April, Gumede was re-elected as regional deputy chairperson at the African National Congress’ (ANC) eThekwini regional conference held in Durban.

However, she was forced to step aside due to the charges against her.

Gumede indicated that she would continue to abide by the ANC’s step aside resolution.

“It is not gonna be long, I am gonna be off the hook and together with the collective, I’ll be working hard for the people of eThekwini. The ANC constitution and that of the ANC states clearly that a person is innocent until he or she is found guilty.”

The ANC’s step aside policy bars party members facing criminal charges from occupying leadership positions in either the party or government.

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