Samwu joins call for eThekwini mayor to step down

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was arrested or alleged corruption.
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was arrested or alleged corruption.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has added its voice on the calls for eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to step aside while she faces charges of fraud and corruption in court.

Gumede appeared in the Durban commercial crime’s court on Tuesday together with ANC councilor Mondli Mthembu and service provider Craig Ponnan of El Shaddai Holdings Group after they all handed themselves to the Hawks.

The three faced charges of corruption and fraud relation to a R208m solid waste tender awarded in 2016. It is also alleged that the service providers were paid huge amounts of money even though they did not render any services.

“In as much as we are disappointed by the revelations of the shenanigans happening at the eThekwini metro, we are vindicated on the calls we have been making for so long that the privatisation of municipal services is not in the interest of service delivery but that of capital and individuals,” said Samwu general secretary Koena Ramotlou.

“We therefore call on the Mayor of eThekwini, Zandile Gumede, to step aside and allow the court process to unfold as we believe her presence in the council may hamper current investigations. Municipal workers and residents also want to have a mayor who is focused on worker issues and service delivery, a mayor who is not destructed by court processes,” Ramotlou added.

The arrest of Gumede, Mthembu and Ponnan follows that of nine other senior eThekwini municipality officials and service providers two weeks ago in connection with the same tender.

The nine arrested were eThekwini municipality deputy head of strategy and new development Robert Abbu, 62, supply chain manager Sandile Ngcobo, 41, Hlenga Sibisi, 43, Mzwandile Dludla, 24, Sinthamone Ponnan, 55, Sithulele Mkhize, 38, Bongani Dlomo ,53, and Prabagaram Pariah, 61.

They are all due back in court on August 8.

Samwu’s call for Gumede to step aside follows similar demand made by the ANC Youth League in eThekwini.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) also called for Gumede to step down and “put the city’s needs first”.

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