Truth will out in Gumede trial, says spin doctor

EThekwini former mayor Zandile Gumede (floral dress). Picture: Nomonde Zondi

EThekwini former mayor Zandile Gumede (floral dress). Picture: Nomonde Zondi

Published Jan 23, 2024


Durban — The spokesperson of Zandile Gumede, the former mayor of eThekwini Municipality, said nothing implicates her in the more than 2000 charges against her which include money laundering, racketeering and fraud in the R300 million Durban Solid Waste tender.

Gumede is facing these charges with 21 co-accused, which include the former city manager of the municipality, Sipho Nzuza.

Siphelele Jiyane said this after the State did a re-cross-examination on Monday at the Durban High Court, of its witness who is a former municipal official.

Jiyane said the witness concluded his evidence without implicating Gumede.

“This session went well, especially when it comes to Mam Zandile. Nothing implicates her, the witness was repeatedly asked if there was anything implicating Mam Zandile but he said no,” said Jiyane.

In all the processes Gumede’s name never came up, he said. Since the matter was postponed to February 26 they are expecting for the truth to come out in the next court session, he added.

“We are expecting the law to take its course and for justice to be served,” he said.

Jiyane said the case could continue with those who have been implicated.

During court proceedings, the State asked the witness – whom the media is not allowed to name for security reasons – about the job description of accused number four, Allan Robert Abbu.

The witness replied by saying Abbu’s job description said he reported to him at the time, however, that was not what Abbu did.

Abbu was appointed as the head of special projects. He is alleged to have appointed the four contractors whom, the witness said, claimed huge amounts of money for collecting waste around the City.

The four contractors are: Ilanga La Mahlase Pty (Ltd), Uzuzinikele Trading 31 cc, Omphile Thabang Projects and El Shaddai Holdings Group cc.

When the witness testified last year he told the court that these four contractors demanded to have their invoices signed and processed.

By the third month of their six-month contracts there were no funds to pay them, he told the court.

Gumede’s lawyer, advocate Jay Naidoo, cross-examined this witness and put it to him that he should also have been one of the accused as he perpetuated the racketeering when he extended the contracts of the contractors who collected waste.

At the next session, the State is expected to call more witnesses. Presiding officer Judge Sharmaine Balton made it clear that when the session starts everyone should be ready.

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