The mayor of eThekwini Metro, Zandile Gumede, has been granted on R50,000 bail after handing herself over to the Hawks on Tuesday morning.
Gumede appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on charges that include fraud, corruption, and racketeering.
The charges against Gumede relate to a dodgy R208 million tender within the Durban Solid Waste (DSW) department.
Gumede’s bail comes with strict restrictions. The mayor is forbidden from communicating with any officials linked to auditing at DSW; communicating with anyone involved in supply chain management; communicating with any legal or financial employees in the KZN metro; or communicating with any of its operating staff.
She also may not access any documents relating to her investigation, leave South Africa or KZN without police notice, or change her residential address.
Magistrate Dawn Somaroo emphasised the seriousness of the conditions attached to Gumede’s bail.
“Due to intimidation and threats, investigations had to be brought forward. These conditions are strict and any hint of these conditions directly or indirectly violated, you will be brought back to court to see if you violated conditions,” she said.
“If they are found to have been violated, bail will be revoked and you will be in custody for the remainder of the matter.”
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), told African News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday morning that he would be issuing a statement on Gumede’s release soon.
Mulaudzi would not be drawn to comment further.
Earlier this month, nine people were arrested – including DSW deputy head, Robert Abbu and the city’s supply chain manager, Sandile Ngcobo – for fraud relating to the same tender.
They have already appeared before the commercial crimes court. The other accused in the matter were service providers.
Gumede appeared alongside a senior councillor at 9am.