The lawyer for former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede says they remain steadfast in their claim that she has done nothing wrong.
The fraud and corruption case against Gumede and 21 other accused has been transferred to the Durban High Court for a pre-trial hearing on the 14th of June.
The state handed over copies of the indictment to the defence teams. The charges stem from a 2017 Durban Solid Waste tender of over R400-million.
They face over 2 000 charges combined.
Gumede’s representative, Advocate Jay Naidoo, says the former mayor didn’t have the authority to instruct the allocation of tenders.
“My client always wanted her day in court where these charges can be fully ventilated. The one thing that must be remembered is that Durban eThekwini does not have an executive mayor. The mayor of eThekwini is a political figure. So, in terms of the procurement process, she doesn’t really have any authority and she never has had any authority. There is a Bid Adjudication Committee that consists of administrative officials. We have always maintained that we’ve had little or nothing to do with the actual tender process.”
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)’s eThekwini region, Thembo Ntuli, says he believes charges against former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and others are politically motivated.
He addressed Gumede’s supporters outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court earlier on Tuesday.
Former eThekwini Mayor and co-accused given indictment, case moved to High Court:
Ntuli says they will continue to support Gumede.
“We are in support of Comrade Zandile and other comrades that are called in court just because we believe that they do not have any case up until they are proven otherwise by the courts. We strongly suspects it is politically motivated for any comrade to be taken to court during the course of running the processes of going to the conference of the organisation.”
Former eThekwini mayor and co-accused face 2 786 charges