South Africa

Zandile Gumede, co-accused corruption trial could start in July 2022

The case was adjourned for 30 November to deal with further particulars and pre-trial matters.

The fraud and corruption trial against former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and her co-accused on Monday was postponed to 30 November 2021.

Gumede and her 21 co-accused briefly appeared in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg for their pre-trial proceedings.

They face 2,793  charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering charges linked to the Durban Solid Waste contract amounting to more than R430 million.

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The former mayor and others are accused of colluding with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcome of the supply chain management protocols of the municipality.

Her co-accused include suspended eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza, former supply chain manager Sandile Ngcobo, and ANC councillor Mondli Mthembu.

The court heard on Monday the trial could possibly start on 18 July 2022.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson Sipho Ngwema, the case was adjourned for November to deal with further particulars and pre-trial matters.

“Some of the accused changed legal teams which resulted in the court unable to deal with pre-trial management issues,” Ngwema said in a short statement.

Meanwhile, Gumede’s supporters believe that the charges against her are politically motivated and meant to derail her camping to be re-elected as regional ANC chairperson in eThekwini.

The region is expected to elect new leadership ahead of the local government elections in October.

Gumede is 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.

She has denied the allegations against her.

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