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Zandile Gumede wants case struck off the roll if delayed again

Gumede and 17 others are expected to return to the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with tender fraud at the eThekwini Municipality amounting over R400 million.

Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (centre) and and some of her co-accused appear in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on 10 September 2020 on charges relating to corruption. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

DURBAN - Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede’s lawyer has told Eyewitness News that he plans to apply for the case against her to be struck off the roll if the State asks for another postponement on Thursday.

Gumede and 17 others are expected to return to the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with tender fraud at the eThekwini Municipality amounting to over R400 million.

The State has alleged that Gumede and her co-accused - former eThekwini executive committee member Mondli Mthembu - unduly interfered with officials during the issuing of tenders in order to benefit some of their other co-accused.

ALSO READ: ANC's failure to respond on Gumede removal resulted in IFP court action - Hlabisa

The case against Gumede and her several co-accused was postponed in September for the State to complete an audit report on the matter.

Her lawyer Jay Naidoo said they wanted the trial to start, adding it was long overdue.

Gumede has always maintained her innocence, saying as a politician, she could not interfere with tender processes despite the National Prosecuting Authority’s assertions.

ALSO READ: 'Gumede still influencing municipal procedures' says DA in eThekwini

At her last court appearance, she told her supporters that the African National Congress (ANC) was being attacked through her.

“We are at war, but this war is not targeting Zandile Gumede, it is the ANC that is under attack.”

At the same time, Eyewitness News understands Gumede is still actively campaigning to be re-elected as the ANC’s eThekwini regional chairperson after she was ousted last year following her arrest.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Durban police clash with supporters of suspended Mayor Gumede

Meanwhile, Gumede's supporters have lashed out at the ANC over a delay in announcing its decision on her status as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.

Gumede is among 10 members in KZN facing criminal charges who were asked to step aside from their positions following a decision by the ANC national executive committee.

That was a mere week after her appointment.

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