Gumede in more hot water over irregular car lease - report

2019-05-26 16:50
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (Gallo Images)

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (Gallo Images)

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Embattled eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is at the centre of another scandal involving the irregular lease of 48 cars, that were allegedly used by city officials to run personal errands and to campaign for the ANC in the 2016 local government elections, according to City Press. 

According to City Press, Gumede approved the lease when she was the city's emergency, safety and security portfolio chair, under which the Durban Metro police fell. 

The details are contained in a report by eThekwini Municipality Audit and Risk Assurance Services. The cost of the car hire of BMWs, Golf GTis and Audis was R5m.  

eThekwini spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela told City Press the contract was awarded in May 2013, but started a year later in June 2014. He said following a 12-month extension, the contract only expired in June 2017. He denied any wrongdoing, saying the city had conducted a needs analysis which showed the vehicles were necessary. 

Commercial crimes court

Earlier this month, Gumede appeared in the Durban Commerical Crimes court in connection with alleged fraud and corruption. Councillor Mondli Mthembu is her co-accused in the matter, according to News24. She was granted R50K bail. 

She has been accused of using her political position to influence a Durban Solid Waste (DSW) contract that had no ceiling on the amount of illegal dumping. There was a previous ceiling of R5m.

Another official allegedly facilitated for four service providers to win the refuse collection contract for three months, valued at R45m with an unlimited budget for illegal dumping.

In addition, she and Mthembu are accused of manipulating various legal and supply chain processes to ensure that the four service providers manipulated the tender system.

This was done by using the "Section 36" clause in municipal law that led to the contractors' appointment in an emergency. This act, according to police, was falsely used.

More arrests

The Mail & Guardian reported that following Gumede's arrest, the Hawks were moving to make scores of arrests for tender fraud in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The Hawks' National Clean Audit Task Team was preparing to arrest 62 eThekwini councillors as part of a swoop to fight fraud and corruption in the municipality, the report said.

IOL reported that the Delangokubona Business Forum and 62 eThekwini councillors received financial kickbacks relating to the DSW contract.

Amid calls for Gumede to step down, the ANC said in a statement last week that it would await the outcome of the judicial proceedings before deciding on her fate, according to TimesLive. 

Read more on:    zandile gumede  |  durban
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