Five more arrested in Durban Solid Waste tender scandal, including a senior official

Five more arrested in Durban Solid Waste tender scandal, including a senior official

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. File photo: ANA/Motshwari Mofokeng

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi says they will face charges of corruption in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

A further five people, including a senior eThekwini Municipality official, are set to appear in court on Friday in connection with the Durban Solid Waste tender corruption case, in which former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is a co-accused.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the five, aged 25 to 42, will face charges of corruption in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

“It is alleged the municipal official conspired with service providers in 2017 and received illicit benefits in the form of a R1-million vehicle which was reportedly bought for his wife,” he said.

A total of R600,000, made up of two separate payments of R400,000 and R200,000, was allegedly paid in cash from two of the suspects’ company accounts.

“The settlement amount was in the form of another luxury vehicle being traded to cover the costs. It is alleged the purchasing of the said vehicle was a payment in exchange for him to award tenders to the other suspects.”

Political status

News24 reported in December that 22 people had been arrested up to that point in connection with the Durban Solid Waste tender scandal.

The court heard last week that the proceeds of fraud and corruption were close to R389 million, R181 million more than the R208 million initially mentioned in the case.

Gumede is out on R50,000 bail and the case is set to continue on 16 April.

She, councillor Mondli Mthembu, and others are accused of colluding with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcome of the supply chain management protocols of the municipality.

Gumede is accused of using her political status to influence the appointment of senior eThekwini personnel responsible for supply chain management, as well as legal matters and human resources.

It is alleged that she gave instructions to the bid specification committee, bid adjudication committee and the bid evaluation committee, despite the fact that mayors are not allowed to be involved in tender specification processes.

In October, the Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority swooped in on the fraud, corruption and money laundering accused, seizing various homes and luxury cars.

Among the 10 properties the AFU and Hawks seized was the plush Prestondale residence of Gumede’s co-accused Hlenga Sibisi.

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