It looks as if Zandile Gumede has reached the end of the road. The mayor of eThekwini is expected to hand herself over to Hawks on Tuesday, as a slew of corrupt political practices have caught up with her.
Once she has visited the law enforcement team, she’s then expected to appear in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court. From there, she will be officially charged with corruption, and there’s quite a lot to answer for.
eThekwini mayor latest: Why is Zandile Gumede facing court?
Gumede has been under fire for a very long time now, but things started going downhill rapidly in December. An investigation found that she was illegally involved in a R25 million tender for a sanitation company, who were asked to provide the city with 800 chemical toilets for six months – the cost is grossly overpriced.
She won’t be alone in the dock, either. Hawks have confirmed the following officials will also face the music:
- eThekwini Municipality Deputy Head of Strategy and New Development Robert Abbu (62)
- Supply Chain Manager Sandile Ngcobo (41)
- Hlenga Sibisi (43)
- Mzwandile Dludla (24)
- Sinthamone Ponnan (55)
- Sithulele Mkhize (38)
- Bongani Dlomo (53)
- Prabagaram Pariah (61)
Another burning suspicion that’s likely to take centre stage over the next 24 hours is Gumede’s penchant for cadre deployment. Nicole Graham is a DA councillor in eThekwini, and she is adamant that the mayor is still indebted to the senior figures who helped the mayor establish herself:
“It cannot be forgotten that the root cause of all this chaos here is the politics of one Zandile Gumede. The Mayor is the one who insisted that MK Veterans be employed and promoted illegally because they were her allies and she needed to pay them back for supporting her.”
“Despite all this, the ANC have defended Gumede and won’t recall her. If she had any conscience, she would resign after what she has done to eThekwini.”
Durban facing “sanitation crisis”
Graham had previously called for presidential intervention in the Durban municipality – like we’d seen in Alexandra last month. Recent flooding and municipal protests had crippled the city, and somewhat ironically caused another sanitation headache for the mayor’s office.
Money laundering‚ fraud and corruption are all expected to appear on her charge sheet later in the day. The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) have welcomed these developments, blasting Zandile Gumede for “looting the city while the poor suffered”.