Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Zandile Gumede’s corruption trial delayed after shooting at state witness’s home

It is unclear who the witness is or if the shooting is related to the corruption trial.

The corruption trial of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and her 21 co-accused was delayed on Monday, after the home of a state witness was shot at over the weekend.

Senior state prosecutor Ashika Lucken informed the Durban High Court that the witness’s home was targeted on Saturday evening. A bullet was recovered from the scene, but no one was wounded.

“The prosecution team had received information at approximately 18:30pm on Saturday, informing us that there has been a shooting at the witness’s home premises and that there was a bullet that was recovered,” said Lucken.

ALSO READ: State vs Gumede: Attorney says investigation was unlawful and politically motivated

It is unclear who the witness is or if the shooting is related to the corruption trial.

The matter was provisionally scheduled to return to court on Wednesday, when the state will outline how it plans to proceed.

Durban solid waste tender

The Durban former mayor and her co-accused – persons and companies – face several charges, including conspiracy to commit corruption, corruption, fraud, money laundering, racketeering, contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act and contravention of the Municipal Systems Act in connection with an irregular Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender amounting to over R300 million.

The trial began in August last year, when the state read the charges to the accused during pre-trial proceedings.

Gumede and her co-accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them. 

The state alleges that eThekwini officials, including the former city manager Sipho Nzuza, circumvented the supply chain management processes on the multimillion-rand DSW tender to benefit identified persons and service providers.

Alleged kickbacks

The state also alleges that Gumede and her co-accused received R2 881 350 in kickbacks between January 2017 and July 2019, to ensure the predetermined businesses benefited from waste contracts.

The accused have always maintained their innocence in the matter, with Gumede claiming that the charges against her are politically motivated.

Gumede, a serving member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, claims she did not take part in or influence supply chain management processes during her tenure as eThekwini mayor.

NOW READ: Delay in Zandile Gumede corruption case as co-accused fail to pay lawyers

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