The indictment has been served in the Durban Solid Waste tender fraud case – the fraud and corruption case against former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, and 21 other accused.
The pre-trial date has also been set for June 14th at the Durban High Court.
State prosecutor Ashika Lucken presented the 300-page indictment. The charges stem from a 2017 Durban Solid Waste tender amounting to over R400 million.
According to the indictment, the State has listed Robert Abbu, accused No.: 1, amongst the key role players.
Former supply chain manager at the eThekwini Municipality Sandile Ngcobo, senior African National Congress (ANC) councillor Mondli Mthembu, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and suspended eThekwini City Manager Sipho Nzuza are also listed as key players in this matter.
Details contained in the indictment state that Abbu, in 2017, was appointed by Nzuza as Head of Special Projects without following proper procedures, a position that the State alleges had not previously existed. And that Nzuza was instructed by Gumede to do so.
The state further notes that shortly after his appointment, Abbu requested to deviate from the formal process of the municipality to invite quotations from suppliers for the new DSW contract.
The state says that it intends to rely on the cellphone records of Gumede, Mthembu and Abbu detailing frequent communications, where the alleged Durban Solid Waste tender decisions were made. It is believed that these cellphone records will link Gumede with some service providers who are also accused in the case.
The indictment further alleges that Gumede, Nzuza and several councillors received illicit payments during the new DSW contract.
Details are also set to emerge around a money trail of a series of payments made to Gumede, Nzuza and Ngcobo and some of their family members.
The papers also reveal that a sum of about a R100 000 was transferred into the bank account of the ANC in the eThekwini Region, allegedly in favour of Gumede.
Outside the court, Gumede supporters welcomed the court proceedings, while she made a quick getaway. Hundreds of people gathered, breaking COVID-19 protocols.
Spokesperson for Gumede’s supporters, Ntando Khuzwayo says, “It is what we wanted. We wanted the indictment. They maintain their innocence, we maintain the innocence of Mam Gumede. She was not an executive mayor, so she would never have given an executive instruction.
“If you understand how the municipality works particularly, eThekwini Municipality, there are structures that are there; there are committees that approve such things. So, there is no way that you will find the signature of a mayor in such a procurement agreement. We maintain her innocence in that regard. We are not worried about what is going to come out of the charges,” Khuzwayo explains.
Chairperson of the African National Congress Youth League’s (ANCYL) eThekwini region Thembo Ntuli says he believes charges against former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and others are politically motivated. He has addressed Gumede’s supporters outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court.
The corruption case against Gumede and her co-accused has now been moved to the Durban High Court.
Case against Zandile Gumede and 21 others moved to the Durban 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.”
Zandile Gumede and co-accused face 2786 charges: