Contractors who allegedly defrauded eThekwini worked as investigations continued

Former mayor of eThekwini Zandile Gumede. Picture by: SIBONELO NGCOBO

Former mayor of eThekwini Zandile Gumede. Picture by: SIBONELO NGCOBO

Published Nov 27, 2023


Durban — The State witness told the Durban High Court on Monday that he does not know what happened to the 1 300 documents for companies who were bidding for the solid waste tender in 2017.

The court has also learnt that accused four Allan Robert Abbu had removed these documents as he was appointed as the head of special projects.

The State alleges that his appointment was on instructions of former mayor, accused one, Zandile Gumede and former councillor accused two, Mondli Michael Mthembu.

The witness who was Abbu’s superior at the time said he was unsure of what happened to the 475 documents of companies who were bidding for this tender in December 2017, as contracts for four companies were extended to continue and collect waste around the city. The four companies which allegedly defrauded the municipality of more than R200 million are Ilanga La Mahlase PTY(LTD), Uzuzinikele Trading 31 cc, Omphile Thabang Projects and El Shaddai Holdings Group cc.

The lawyer representing accused five, former deputy head of supply chain management Sandile Ngcobo, advocate Jimmy Howse asked the witness if the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU) tried to stop the contractors from collecting waste after it started its investigation.

The witness said the CIIU was only investigating and confirmed that the investigation started in 2018.

“I only knew about it in October 2018,” the witness said.

The 22 accused are facing more than 2 000 charges, including conspiracy to commit corruption, corruption, fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act, and of the Municipal Systems Act, in relation to a R300 million DSW contract.

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