The Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) have raided former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s property in KwaZulu-Natal.
SABC News reports from the scene, in Somerset Park, Umhlanga, that the Hawks and the AFU have just gained access into Gumede’s property.
The raid is reportedly in relation to the charges stacked up against the embattled former mayor, although details remain sketchy at the moment. The Hawks and the AFU are believed to be at the property to seize assets worth R51 million.
Gumede’s legal team has reportedly made contact with investigators, reports eNCA, and have volunteered to come to the property to receive the notice, but the Hawks and the AFU say Gumede must receive the notice in person. If she is not available at present, they say they will go to her.
It has since emerged that the owner of the house arrived at the scene to allow investigators access, adding that Gumede has not been residing at the property since July.
SABC News further reports that it appears Gumede has violated her bail conditions, as the address of the property currently being raided is the one she provided to the court, but she does not currently live there, and did not inform the investigating officer.
Two other properties are also reportedly being raided in KZN, but the ownership of these properties has not yet been established. Rumours point to the possibility of the other two properties belonging to eThekwini government official, infrastructure portfolio committee chairperson Mondli Mthembu, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Gumede faces charges that include fraud to the tune of R208 million, corruption and racketeering, in relation to an alleged dodgy tender within the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) department.
According to the Hawks, those involved in the tender were “allegedly paid huge amounts of money even though they didn’t render any service.”
The ANC announced last month that executive committee members in the eThekwini metro who were ordered to resign must vacate their seats. Gumede resigned as mayor in August.
The Hawks and the AFU are currently inside the property as they decide their next course of action.
Updates to follow as more information is made available.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)