A spokesperson for Zandile Gumede believes the seizure of her property during a raid by the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) on Thursday was a plot by the state, alongside senior ANC members, including Bheki Cele, to stop her from getting a second term as eThekwini chair.
The build-up to the region’s elective conference is currently underway. According to EWN, Mzomuhle Dube said, if anything, her chances of achieving this have “increased” following the raid, and that “whatever happened, people will always support her”.
The raid saw ten homes and various people accused of fraud, corruption and money laundering in connection with the Durban Solid Waste tender scandal targeted.
Numerous properties and luxury vehicles have been attached.
Dube said she was being targeted because she was a “strong woman”, a claim rubbished by Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi, who was quoted on 702 as saying their job was to deal with “criminality”, rather than involve themselves in politics.
Dube’s assertion that the raid will, if anything, increase Gumede’s popularity is shared by his namesake, political analyst Xolani Dube of the Xubera Institute, who told IOL that what the Hawks were doing to Gumede was the same as what they did to former president Jacob Zuma, which is to make her “popular with the masses”.
He accused the ANC of destroying institutions in the process of using them to fight their internal battles.
One of Gumede’s most loyal supporters, Mbongiseni Hlongwa, vowed that he and her other allies would get her re-elected, despite what he said were the efforts of those who initiated the raid to paint her as unfit to lead.
The support of her allies aside, Gumede will have to convince the court she hasn’t violated her bail conditions.
eNCA reported that she is expected to appear today after the Hawks accused her of violating her bail conditions due to her failure to inform the police that she had moved from the Umhlanga house that was raided yesterday, and which was listed in her bail application as her home address.
Gumede posted bail of R50,000 following her arrest together with councillor Mondli Mthembu, Sandile Ngcobo, and Robert Abbu.
They were arrested for allegedly colluding with corporate entities and others to circumvent the outcome of the supply chain management protocols of the municipality, in favour of the award of new Durban Solid Waster (DSW) contracts.
As a result of being awarded the unlawful contracts, four corporate entities were paid over R230 million by February 2019.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Makhosandile Zulu.)