Zandile Gumede

Zandile Gumede / Image via Flickr: South African Tourism

Zandile Gumede court date postponed until January 2020

Suspended eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will have to wait at least another four months to learn her fate after her case was postponed to next year.

Zandile Gumede

Zandile Gumede / Image via Flickr: South African Tourism

The fraud and corruption case against suspended eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has been postponed until 15 January 2020 in order for the prosecution and defence to conduct further investigations into the matter.

Gumede accused of fraud and corruption

Gumede was placed on a special 30-day suspension in May 2019 after she was arrested on multiple charges of corruption, fraud, and racketeering.

The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to have been the awarding of a R208 million tender to Durban Solid Waste without following due process.

She posted her R50 000 bail so has not been in jail this whole time, but the suspension has lapsed and been extended twice already and it is unlikely to be lifted any time soon. Especially now that the case is not going to be heard until the new year at the earliest.

For her part, Gumede has expressed her bitter disappointment at the postponement, even though it is clearly a good thing for her chances of being found innocent.

“I feel bad as you have heard that they don’t have any evidence against us to date, but our names are being tainted as the media has already sentenced us. Four more months of waiting. I thought today they were going to bring forth the charges,” she told eNCA shortly after the announcement.

Supporters cause chaos in eThekwini

It is a tad surprising there doesn’t seem to be more hustle to get the Gumede situation sorted out, especially considering the chaos her supporters have been causing in eThekwini.

When she did not return to her office as mayor in July after the initial suspension had lapsed, her supporters began blocking roads and access to various parts of the city in protest.

“It’s unclear why this kind of behaviour is not handled criminally and those who block roads and access ways for ordinary people are not arrested and charged,” said Democratic Alliance eThekwini chief whip Thabani Mthethwa in a statement.

“It’s simply unacceptable that the city’s administrative and political home is completely disabled and this thuggish behaviour is repeatedly allowed.”

Crazy stories from the investigation

On top of that, there was also a fake crowd-funding scheme to raise money for Gumede’s legal fees and an apparent assassination attempt on one of the lead investigators for the prosecution.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesperson for Hawks, confirmed that security had been beefed-up for the team charged with holding Zandile Gumede and her six co-accused accountable for their actions.

The law enforcement authority was also able to reveal:

  • The victim was targeted in this ‘assassination attempt’ while in Germiston, Gauteng
  • Multiple gunshots were fired at the investigator when he pulled up at a stop sign
  • Witnesses in the Zandile Gumede corruption case will also be granted greater protections