Thabiso Goba
2 minute read
18 Jul 2022
10:35

Corruption trial for Zandile Gumede, 21 co-accused to kick off on Monday

Thabiso Goba

Gumede is alleged to have directly or indirectly received R2,8 million in kickbacks from service providers who won an irregular DSW tender in 2017

Former eThekwini Municipality mayor Zandile Gumede.

Almost three years after the charges of corruption cost Zandile Gumede her mayoral chain, the former eThekwini Municipality mayor is finally going to get her day in court.

The first day of the trial of Gumede and 21 others is scheduled to start at the Durban High Court on Monday afternoon.

Gumede and her co-accused are facing a combined count of 2 793 charges relating to a 2017 irregular Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender that was in excess of R320 million.

She comes into the case as the newly elected chairperson of ANC eThekwini region.

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In numerous public statements, Gumede has expressed frustration with the slow pace of the case, saying it was denting her reputation and hurting her political career.

The other notable municipal officials accused in this case are former eThekwini city manager, Sipho Nzuza, Robert Abbu who is former Deputy head of DSW and Sandile Ngcobo, the former chairperson bid adjunction committee.

According to the indictment, the municipal officials allegedly worked in common purpose to redirect waste collection tenders towards their preferred service providers.

These tenders were awarded via a section 36 process, which is an emergency process that allows the municipality to deviate from normal supply chain management processes.

The four service providers are Uzuzinikele Trading CC, Ilanga Lamahlase projects, Omphilethababg and El Shaddal.

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Gumede was charged with criminal charges in May 2019 while she was still the mayor of eThekwini.

She formally resigned as mayor in August 2019 after being recalled by the ANC and was replaced by Mxolisi Kaunda. 

A year later, the ANC appointed Gumede as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature. 

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 DSW tender in 2017. 

ALSO READ | Zandile Gumede back in court

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

All accused in the case have plead not guilty.

There are at least 55 state witnesses expected to testify in the case.