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Gumede loses bid to have case struck off roll

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The State has been able to thwart former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s attempt to have her corruption case struck off the roll.

Zandile Gumede. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency

Durban – The State has been able to thwart former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s attempt to have her corruption case struck off the roll.

On Thursday, Gumede and 62 others were at the Durban commercial crimes court to face charges linked to 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.

During the hearing, the State, through prosecutor Ashiken Lucken who is leading its team in the case, told the court that their investigation is done.

However, she said they want at least three months to finalise a forensic audit report.

Lucken told the magistrate presiding over the case, Dawn Somaroo that they have taken statements from 450 witnesses and they would likely bring those interviewed as their witnesses when the matter gets underway.

After heated arguments between the state and defence lawyers, Somaroo ruled that the matter be postponed to December 10, 2020.

But she also ruled that the state, should it not be ready with the report by that time, must inform all the defence lawyers and give reasons why it failed to complete the report. The explanation should be given to the defence who may use it as a basis to have the case struck off the roll when it returns to court in December.

Political Bureau