The National Prosecuting Authority has announced that the trial of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 others will start on Monday in the Durban high court.
Gumede is accused of racketeering, fraud, and corruption in connection with the R320 million the city spent on the “illegal” Durban Solid Waste contract,
Sources close to the case, however, stated that they anticipated those of the defendants who hadn’t yet applied for an adjournment to do so.
The presiding judge will have to decide whether to grant the accused extra time to raise money (which will demand an explanation of their ability to do so and within what timeframe) or to order them to seek for legal aid if they are eligible.
According to a newly delivered updated indictment, Gumede is now the primary accused.
According to the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, which outlines what constitutes an offense under its racketeering provisions, she is therefore regarded as the “chief” of the accused corrupt organization.
She is charged with committing the offenses to “firmly establish” her position as mayor and elevate her status in the political world, particularly in the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) camp of the ANC.
Mondli Mthembu, a former senior councilor for the ANC, is the second accuser, followed by suspended city manager Sipho Nzuza.
Robert Abbu, the deputy head of strategic and new developments at the time of the alleged offenses, Sandile Ngcobo, the deputy head of supply chain management, as well as other council members and business entities, as well as the owners of those entities, who allegedly benefited from the alleged corruption, are also named on the list of accused.
The indictment lists a total of 2,793 accusations (along with a few alternates) pertaining to the awarding of the contract for trash collection, street cleaning, and the prevention of illegal dumping in townships.