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

Zandile Gumede. (Photo: Nkosi Sibalukhulu/Daily Sun)
Zandile Gumede. (Photo: Nkosi Sibalukhulu/Daily Sun)

Embattled former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede says she does not own luxury cars and has told that eNCA that she is as "poor as a church mouse".

The Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) raided the homes of Gumede and her co-accused.

They have been charged with fraud and corruption relating to a municipal solid waste tender worth more than R200m. Gumede, 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 the raid, assets worth more than R50m were seized from the various accused, News24 reported.

The Hawks started at Gumede's Umhlanga home but soon established that she was not at the property when they arrived and that she was living in her Inanda home.

It has also been confirmed that Gumede will appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Durban on Friday afternoon for a possible bail violation, News24 previously reported. 

'I was sleeping'

Speaking to eNCA's Siphamandla Goge, Gumede said she didn't know about the raid.

"I wasn't aware [about the raid]. I was sleeping [at my Inanda home] when one of my daughters told me that the Hawks were on their way," Gumede told the broadcaster.

'Lies have got short legs'

She described the events as "painful" but said she would comply fully.

"I just want to say it's painful," Gumede said, before going on the offensive.

"Lies have got short legs. They came and asked for Lamborghinis and only found the one I use and two cars that are not active. I don't have luxury cars. I am poor as a church mouse. That's why they (Hawks) had to go back empty handed."

KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara told News24 on Thursday that the asset seizure was underpinned by the belief that the assets were the proceeds of crime. 

'Not discriminatory'

Kara said several properties from all the accused were seized, including upmarket homes in Umhlanga, Amanzimtoti and Zimbali. She said luxury sports cars, such as Porsches and Lamborghinis, were also seized.

Gumede stopped short of calling the raids a political witch hunt, saying "the law must not be used against some members of the ANC" particularly as the party's provincial elective conference nears.

Kara, however, previously told News24 that there was nothing untoward about the raid.

"It is not something new or discriminatory. We do this to many accused. This is just a process of the law."

- Compiled by Kamva Somdyala

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