A TOTAL OF 10 houses, 14 cars and an undisclosed sum of money were seized yesterday when the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit raided properties, including that of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
The seizure of properties, luxury cars and cash believed to be the proceeds of crime was in relation to Gumede’s multimillion-rand fraud and corruption case.
The former mayor, along with councillor Mondli Mthembu, Sandile Ngcobo and 13 others, face a charge of unduly influencing the awarding of a tender in relation to a R208m Durban Solid Waste (DSW) contract in 2016.
The raids, that started in the early hours of the morning, were conducted simultaneously on several properties, including Gumede’s Umhlanga home and properties in Zimbali, Amanzimtoti and Inanda.
Sowetan understands that the Hawks and AFU seized assets of 16 individuals to the tune of R51m as well as 26 companies and two trusts that have not yet been quantified.
“The curator, together with AFU are still busy. So the number of the seized items will definitely grow as and when this thing unfolds,” said an insider. “In total we’re talking about R230m the curator has been given instruction to recover.”
Gumede later told Sowetan sister publication Times Select that she had not been furnished with the charge sheet yet. She said she rented the house in Umlanga because she wanted to be closer to work. The mansion, which features a guard house and a rondavel, is surrounded by dozens of RDP houses.
Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi told the media that among some of the items seized thus far were luxury vehicles including a Lamborghini and Porsche, which form part of the multi-million rand asset list.
The seized luxury vehicles include:
A white Lamborghini Huracan Spider owned by Sinthamone Ponnan;
A silver Mercedes V8 Biturbo AMG GT owned by businessman Hlenga Sibisi;
A white Porsche Cayenne S, silver Jaguar F-Pace SUV and a white Jaguar XF, owner not clear;
A red Porsche Cayman Gen II, owner not clear;
An unregistered black Audi RS3; and
An Isuzu double cab and a Ford Ranger Wildtrak alleged to be owned by Gumede.
“These will also be forfeited to the state. Until the finalisation of the criminal investigation, they will be under the control of the state,” said an insider.
Image (Can’t see clearly now. Disgraced former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede assets seized).