Even in her darkest hour, Zandile Gumede has remained defiant in the face of mounting pressure. The former mayor of eThekwini had a dig at the Hawks investigative unit on Thursday when they turned up at the wrong house to seize assets belonging to her, and 15 of her co-accused.
Gumede has orchestrated one hell of a tender fraud scheme, estimated to have been worth R200 million. The contract her council and Durban Solid Waste negotiated flouted strict rules and regulations, allowing the controversial public figure and her cronies to loot the local coffers.
Zandile Gumede “violated her bail terms”
So when the Hawks rocked up to a rental property they believed she was residing in, things looked pretty straightforward. That was until the officers realised no-one was home, and they had to explain Zandile Gumede left the property several months ago – a fact “everyone knows”, according to Gumede herself.
But that act of stone-throwing was committed from a glass house. The fact the police struggled to find Gumede is more fool her – the ex-mayor failed to alert the authorities to her change of address, violating the bail conditions she agreed to earlier this year. The terms of her R50 000 deal have been violated.
Could Zandile Gumede be arrested again?
Nicole Graham in the DA’s eThekwini Caucus Leader. She expressed her concern with Zandile Gumede’s continued disregard for the law, and stated that the police must arrest her once again:
“Gumede has violated her bail conditions by vacating a property listed as her residence under her bail conditions without informing the authorities. This is surely grounds for arrest, which we trust will be imminent, as no one is above the law.”
“Whilst we are pleased that there is progress in this matter and that Gumede is no longer Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, she remains a councillor in the municipality, along with her co-accused Mondli Mthembu and 62 other Councillors mentioned in the initial court proceedings – the eThekwini government has done nothing itself to hold them accountable.”
eThekiwni corruption raids: Luxury cars seized
It has been a hectic day in Durban. When they finally located Zandile Gumede in her “other” property, the operation went full steam ahead. Various homes, belonging to her co-conspirators in the high-profile corruption case, were also raided. The authorities stumbled across a car collection that would make the presenters of Top Gear blush:
And here are the cars taken during the raids on the properties of #ZandileGumede and her co-accused. These cars are not hers, but belong to the 15 other co-accused also affected by the seizure of assets believed to be the proceeds of crime. pic.twitter.com/pHiyGsYSl1
— Dasen Thathiah (@DasenThathiah) October 10, 2019
Luxury vehicles seized during this mornings Hawks and AFU raids across Durban. Vehicles were taken from #ZandileGumede co-accused properties. It is yet to be identified if any of these vehicles belong to Gumede @TheMercurySA pic.twitter.com/bfMeBpvK3F
— Kailene Pillay (@kailenepillay) October 10, 2019
Money talks in eThekwini
We’re talking Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audis, Mercedes-Benzes and even the odd Jaguar thrown in there. It’s not yet been established which – if any – cars belong to Zandile Gumede, but what is clear is that her co-accused all earn the standard wage of municipal officers. It’s not a bad salary, but it’s not “Ferraris in the garage” money.
The scale of corruption in eThekwini has been laid bare on Thursday. It’s clear that these motors were acquired through illicit means. An undisclosed sum of money has also been seized from one of the properties raided earlier in the day – unfortunately for them, it’s too late for the group to bribe their way out of this one.