South Africa

Gumede leading race to be eThekwini ANC chair despite charges, say supporters

DURBAN - Supporters of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede claim that her campaign to be re-elected as regional African National Congress (ANC) chairperson was going well despite the criminal charges against her.

Gumede and 21 others face a string of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering charges linked to a waste collection tender.

The accused are expected to appear in the Durban High Court for a pre-trial hearing on Monday.

The ANC's eThekwini region is expected to hold its elective congress ahead of the local government elections this year.

Ntando Khuzwayo, a spokesperson for the supporters of Zandile Gumede, said that she was a frontrunner in the campaign to lead the governing party’s biggest region.

"Last night, we nominated her as chairperson and a number of other branches, I think about 5 branches nominated her and she's way ahead in terms of nominations,” he said.

Gumede and several of her co-accused have already made their way inside Durban High Court.

“We would like to get a trial date but it depends on the acting judge president, whether he thinks we're ready for trial. We are,” said her lawyer Jay Naidoo.

In total, Gumede and her co-accused face 2,786 counts.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it had a strong case.

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