Durban mayor in dock over ‘dirty’ R208m tender
Two days after her birthday, eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede looked festive in her red party dress on Tuesday.
However, instead of being toasted and celebrated, Gumede, chairperson of the eThekwini branch of the ANC, found herself in the dock of the Durban Commercial Crimes Court where she is facing charges of fraud and corruption relating to a R208m Durban Solid Waste tender awarded in 2016.
Gumede, 58, appeared alongside eThekwini councillor Mondli Mthembu, who is also the chairperson of the infrastructure committee, and a service provider, Craig Ponnan of El Shaddai Holdings group CC, amid a heavy security presence.
During their brief appearance, Gumede wore a stony expression, sometimes putting on a brave smile during the proceedings.
She and her co-accused were granted bail of R50,000 each, with stringent conditions, by magistrate Dawn Soomaroo.
Gumede, who rose from a PR councillor through the ranks to the highest political office in the city, is a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma.
Gumede and Mthembu’s bail conditions prevent them from communicating with municipal officials and employees from the city’s finance division, Durban Solid Waste, supply chain management, interfering with the functions and operations of the city, refraining from accessing information or reports relating to the investigation, and taking part in disciplinary actions against officials facing charges relating to similar investigations...