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Hawks: Nothing sinister about timing of eThekwini mayor’s arrest

The Hawks were responding to concerns around why eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was only arrested after the May 8 elections.

FILE: eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: @eThekwiniM/Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks said on Tuesday there was nothing sinister about the timing of the arrest of eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.

“We need to make sure that the prosecutors that we’re working with, we arm them with information. For use to rush cases, it will compromise everything,” said Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi responding to concerns around why Gumede was only arrested after the May 8 elections.

"Issues of elections do not feature anywhere, we’re just dealing with the cases as they come,” said Mulaudzi.

Earlier in May, during the appearance of nine people linked to tender fraud in a related matter, the Durban Commercial Crime Court heard that the investigating officer was concerned about some witnesses being intimidated.

As Gumede appeared in court on Tuesday morning, the court was again reminded about the possible interference with witnesses.

She and two co-accused were granted R50,000 bail each.

The 12 accused, including the eThekwini mayor, face a string of corruption charges linked to an R208 million tender issued in 2016. They are expected back in court in August.

Gumede is facing a string of corruption charges, including money laundering and racketeering.

The Hawks said more people were expected to be arrested for tender fraud and corruption in eThekwini and that other municipalities would also be in the spotlight.

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