Councillors, contractors join list of 22 arrested so far in Durban waste tender scandal

2019-12-11 13:12
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is seen during a media briefing. (Jabulani Langa, Gallo Images, Daily Sun, file)

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is seen during a media briefing. (Jabulani Langa, Gallo Images, Daily Sun, file)

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More people, including eThekwini councillors, were arrested on Wednesday in connection with Durban Solid Waste tender corruption allegations in a case in which former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is an accused.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said 15 people were arrested on Wednesday on various fraud and corruption charges, including four councillors, municipal officials and community-based contractors.

READ | Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede expected in court for possible bail violation

Among them were seven more arrests in the multi-million rand solid waste tender scandal.

The arrests followed a year-long investigation by the Hawks into allegations that they received gratifications, committed money laundering and contravened the Municipal Finance and Municipal System acts.

"The four councillors and three contractors are implicated in the R208m Durban Solid Waste tender scandal," said Mulaudzi.

He said this brought to 22 the number of people arrested in the matter so far. Investigations are ongoing.

Bail conditions

READ | 'I don't have luxury cars. I'm poor as a church mouse' - former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede on Hawks raid

Gumede is out on R50 000 bail in the case.

She, councillor Mondli Mthembu, and others are accused of colluding with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcome of the supply chain management protocols of the municipality.

In October, the Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority swooped in on the fraud, corruption and money laundering accused, seizing various homes and luxury cars.

Among the 10 properties the AFU and Hawks seized was the plush Prestondale residence of Gumede's co-accused Hlenga Sibisi.

At the time, Mulaudzi said it emerged that Gumede was only renting her Amaoti home and that she could be probed for possibly violating her bail conditions for changing her address.

But the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court found that Gumede did not deliberately violate her bail conditions and that it was not her fault that the investigating officer did not receive her sworn affidavit about her change of address.

Gumede's bail has been extended until January 15, 2020, when she is expected back in court.

In a separate case, Mulaudzi said they also arrested eight eThekwini employees in Springfield who were weighbridge operators.

"They were charged for fraud in that they allegedly generated false [weighbridge] receipts that were used by four main service providers to claim from the municipality."

He said the people who were arrested would appear in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court later on Wednesday.

The eThekwini municipality noted the arrests.

"We are on record as saying that under no circumstances shall we impede law enforcement agencies and institutions tasked with dispensing justice to do their noble work," said spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.

He said they had declared fraud and corruption as "enemy number one".

"The Municipality would like to assure residents that the arrests will not have a negative impact on service delivery."

Read more on:    anc  |  hawks  |  zandile gumede  |  durban  |  corruption
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