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A Lambo, and other luxury cars seized during former eTekwini mayor - Zandile Gumede and Co raid

 
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A Lambo, and other luxury cars seized during former eTekwini mayor - Zandile Gumede and Co raid
by Kudzai Chinoda - Friday, 11 October 2019, 9:35 AM
 

A Lambo, and other luxury cars seized during former eTekwini mayor - Zandile Gumede and Co raid

News24 Wire and Citizen reporter


Numerous luxury cars have been seized, with their value adding up to several million rand.

The Amaoti home of former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and luxury cars from her co-accused in the Durban Solid Waste tender scandal were among the assets seized by authorities on Thursday.

The Hawks together with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) swooped in on the fraud, corruption and money laundering accused in the matter.

While authorities managed to seize Gumede’s Amaoti luxury home, they were given an early morning surprise when she was not at her palatial Umhlanga home – the address she provided to police as part of her bail conditions.

“It only transpired today that she was renting that house,” Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

He said the address matter would be investigated by the NPA.

“It is a matter now dealt with the NPA in terms of bail conditions and if she violated them or not. Let’s give them space so they can come to a determination on that.”

Among the 10 homes the AFU and Hawks also swooped in on was the plush Prestondale residence of Gumede co-accused Hlenga Sibisi.

From his home, a luxury Mercedes-Benz AMG was taken.

Other vehicles seized from Gumede’s co-accused were all high-end sports cars, off-road vehicles and sedans including a Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Land Rover and Jaguars.

They were taken from homes all located in upmarket parts of Durban and the North Coast including Zimbali Estate in Ballito, homes in Umhlanga as well as Amanzimtoti.

Gumede home seized

Speaking outside Gumede’s home, spokesperson for her supporters and close ally Mzomuhle Dube claimed none of her assets were seized.

“There are no assets that have been seized, contrary to what is being put out there. She has not lost luxury vehicles. She does not own those. She doesn’t live in opulence.”

However, Mulaudzi was quick to rebut Dube’s assertion.

“I can confirm we have seized the home,” he told a throng of journalists.

Gumede’s descent from power began shortly after she, together with councillor Mondli Mthembu, Sandile Ngcobo and Robert Abbu were arrested.

They allegedly colluded 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 R230m by February 2019.

Last week, the KZN Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a restraint order to retain assets from the accused to the value of approximately R51m.

The ANC in the province, however, said Gumede’s recall as mayor was not linked to her corruption case, but to poor performance in the metro.

Earlier, by Citizen reporter:

East Coast Radio reporter Nushera Soodyal took to Twitter on Thursday to post pictures and videos of the several luxury cars seized during this morning’s raid.

The cars are worth several million rand in total.

The four cars featured in one of Soodyal’s tweets were a Lamborghini Huracan Spyder, one older and one newer model Porsche Cayman, and an Audi RS3 Sportback.

Soodyal also posted a video in which Hawks officer Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi updated the media on the search and seizures operation, saying they still need to “asses what transpired in terms of the quantities and monies involved in terms of all the assets that we have now”. 

Mulaudzi  said there were 10 houses the Hawks and the AFU visited today for the joint operation, and that immovable properties as well as luxury vehicles were seized. 

According to the officer the “operation went well” and those involved “managed to achieve our objective”, while adding there were some challenges encountered that would be dealt with by the NPA at a later stage.


Gumede’s legal team reportedly made contact with investigators, reports eNCA, and volunteered to come to the property to receive the notice, but the Hawks and the AFU said Gumede must receive the notice in person. If she was not available, they said they would go to her.

It subsequently emerged that the owner of the house arrived at the scene to allow investigators access, adding that Gumede has not been residing at the property since July.

The DA welcomed the raid “as a positive step in the development of the corruption, fraud and racketeering case against Gumede and several others, and urge the Hawks to continue with their good work”.

They said Gumede violating her bail conditions without informing the authorities was “surely grounds for arrest, which we trust will be imminent, as no one is above the law”.

“Whilst we are pleased that there is progress in this matter and that Gumede is no longer Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, she remains a councillor in the municipality, along with her co-accused Mondli Mthembu and 62 other Councillors mentioned in the initial court proceedings.

“The eThekwini Municipality Speaker’s Office, which is tasked with upholding the Code of Conduct for Councillors as enshrined in the law, have not initiated investigation, suspension or action against these Councillors.

“Gumede, Mthembu and their unnamed 62 cohorts continue to earn R2.5 million rand a month of public money whilst eThekwini has done nothing itself to hold them accountable.”

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Nica Schreuder.) 




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