Embattled former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 other accused are expected to appear before the Durban High Court for a pre-trial hearing Monday.

The charges stem from 2017 Durban Solid Waste tender amounting to over R400 million.

Spokesperson for Gumede’s supporters, Ntando Khuzwayo says although supporters will be out in their numbers they will adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

“It’s a pre-trial conference so the parties are in court they’re going to try to reduce disputes before the matter goes to trial so we cannot pre-empt what is going to happen inside the courts but outside we can tell you that we’re expecting scores of people to come and show their support for Gumede.

We also have other provinces who have indicated that they also sending people over to show solidarity to her or the safety and Corbett regulation or going to be adhered to.”

Case against Zandile Gumede and 21 others moved to the Durban High Court:

In March it was reported that according to the indictment, the state listed Robert Abbu, accused number one, 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 the 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 said 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 the 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.

The papers also revealed that a sum of about a R100 000 was transferred into the bank account of the African National Congress in the eThekwini Region, allegedly in favour of Gumede.