A day before she returns to court to face her alleged litany of corruption and fraud charges, former eThekwini mayor and ANC MPL in the KZN legislature, Zandile Gumede has lashed out at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Speaking to Independent Media on Wednesday, Gumede said she has no qualms with the NPA temporarily withdrawing the charges against her, conducting a diligent investigation and then charging her again if they have a case.
On Thursday, Gumede and 62 others will return to the Durban commercial crimes court to face the music over a R430 million waste tender issued by the eThekwini municipality in 2017 while she was the mayor of the council. The state alleges that the tender was rigged, Gumede had a hand in it and allegedly pocketed some financial benefits.
She was arrested in early 2019 and the court granted her R50 000 bail.
Speaking ahead of the high profile return to court, Gumede lamented that the NPA decided to charge her and her co-accused without having concluded their investigation and now their case keeps on being postponed as the state asks for more time from the court to conduct more investigations.
“It’s been a year and a half now, I have been patiently waiting for my charges. I suggest they rather go back and thoroughly do their work. Then they can arrest me again. But for now, they are really destroying my image and the image of our glorious movement (the ANC) for sweet nothing,” Gumede said.
Gumede also confirmed that should the state seek another postponement on Thursday, she and her lawyers would fight to have the case struck off the roll. The last time the matter was heard in July, the state was not yet ready to proceed, saying it was still investigating.
“I have grown tired of making endless and futile trips to court. This is taking a heavy toll on me and I wonder who did I provoke to get this treatment,” she said.
Asked about how far the investigation in the case has gone, Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi referred all questions to the NPA and the prosecuting body was yet to respond.
When Independent Media asked Advocate Elaine Zungu, the head of the NPA in KZN about Gumede’s lawyers’ application on Tuesday last week, she said: “The NPA has not received any such notice. The matter is back in court on 10 September.
In other news – Video: Police shoot at a man trapped in crashed truck in Limpopo
Shocking footage of a man trapped in a truck has surfaced with police pointing the blame at the man who allegedly exhibited violent behaviour on the day in question. Learn more