The Amaoti home of former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and luxury cars from her co-accused in the Durban Solid Waste tender scandal were among the assets seized by authorities on Thursday.
The Hawks together with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) swooped in on the fraud, corruption and money laundering accused in the matter.
While authorities managed to seize Gumede's Amaoti luxury home, they were given an early morning surprise when she was not at her palatial Umhlanga home – the address she provided to police as part of her bail conditions.
"It only transpired today that she was renting that house," Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
He said the address matter would be investigated by the NPA.
"It is a matter now dealt with the NPA in terms of bail conditions and if she violated them or not. Let's give them space so they can come to a determination on that."
Among the 10 homes the AFU and Hawks also swooped in on was the plush Prestondale residence of Gumede co-accused Hlenga Sibisi.
From his home, a luxury Mercedes-Benz AMG was taken.
Other vehicles seized from Gumede's co-accused were all high-end sports cars, off-road vehicles and sedans including a Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Land Rover and Jaguars.
They were taken from homes all located in upmarket parts of Durban and the North Coast including Zimbali Estate in Ballito, homes in Umhlanga as well as Amanzimtoti.
Gumede home seized
Speaking outside Gumede's home, spokesperson for her supporters and close ally Mzomuhle Dube claimed none of her assets were seized.
"There are no assets that have been seized contrary to what is being put out there. She has not lost luxury vehicles. She does not own those. She doesn't live in opulence."
However, Mulaudzi was quick to rebut Dube's assertion.
"I can confirm we have seized the home," he told a throng of journalists.
Gumede's descent from power began shortly after she, together with councillor Mondli Mthembu, Sandile Ngcobo and Robert Abbu were arrested.
They allegedly colluded with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcome of the supply chain management protocols of the municipality, in favour of the award of new Durban Solid Waster (DSW) contracts.
As a result of being awarded the unlawful contracts, four corporate entities were paid over R230m by February 2019.
Last week, the KZN Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a restraint order to retain assets from the accused to the value of approximately R51m.
The ANC in the province however said Gumede's recall as mayor was not linked to her corruption case, but to poor performance in the metro.