Zandile Gumede, Mondli Mthembu and 20 others face corruption, fraud and money laundering charges linked to a 2017 waste collection tender amounting to R430 million.

The State has alleged that former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, and the city’s former executive council member, Mondli Mthembu, were involved in corruption that also benefited the African National Congress (ANC) and its political deployees.

Gumede, Mthembu and 20 others face corruption, fraud and money laundering charges linked to a 2017 waste collection tender amounting to R430 million. The accused appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday where the matter was transferred to the Durban High Court until 14 June.

The State said that Gumede told ANC councillors that the time for radical economic transformation arrived as soon as she was appointed as eThekwini mayor in 2016 and from that point, she set out to interfere with tender processes in the metro.

According to an indictment seen by Eyewitness News, Gumede, together with Mthembu, instructed city manager Sipho Nzuza to create a special position for Craig Ponnan, an official tasked with supply chain management issues.

Ponnan was then appointed as head of special projects and created the impression among his colleagues that he took instructions directly from Gumede.

The State alleged that through Ponnan, companies favoured by Gumede, Mthembu and Nzuza then secured contracts from the municipality in which they inflated the prices of services rendered.

The companies allegedly paid kickbacks to politicians including Gumede, controversial business forum Amadela Ngokubona, the ANC and municipal officials.

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