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‘Patronage network’ at heart of Gumede trial

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    Nat Quinn
    Four companies which secured the R320m eThekwini Durban Solid Waste contract paid about R36.5m to community-based contractors (CBCs) established by local ANC heavyweights to promote ‘radical economic transformation’ and ‘patronage networks’.
    This is what the state has alleged at the start of the case against former mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 others. The charges are racketeering, fraud, corruption and money laundering.
    TimesLIVE reports that, according to the State’s case, Sandile Ngcobo (accused 5), the deputy head of supply management and chair of the bid adjudication committee which awarded the initial contract, received R600,000 from successful tenderer Mzwandile Dludla (accused 11) and his company Ilanga La Mashlase (accused 12). Ngcobo allegedly used the money towards buying a Jaguar F Pace.
    Gumede (accused 1) has allegedly received benefits of more than R2.8m, including payments from Dludla and Ilanga.
    Three councillors, Sduduzo Khuzwayo, Bhekokwakhe Phewa and Mthokozisi Nojiyeza (accuseds six, seven and eight), allegedly received between R15,000 and R80,000 from some of the appointed service providers.
    The accused all pleaded not guilty last year. The state intends to call 112 witnesses.
    Documentary evidence includes cellphone records, about 910 bank statements, vehicle tracking data, documents seized from the companies, and weighbridge slips which pointed to inflated invoicing for waste disposal.
    Evidence is expected to show that Gumede and ANC senior councillor Mondli Mthembu entered into an agreement with former municipal manager Sipho Nzuza, city deputy head of strategic and new developments Robert Abbu and Sandile Ngcobo to circumvent the supply chain management protocols to award the tender to Ilanga, Uzuzinekele Trading, Omphile Thabang Projects and El Shaddai Holdings Group CC.
    The agreement created a ‘patronage network’ through the CBCs to benefit councillors, entities linked to them, business forums and political organisations, including the ANC.


    source:‘Patronage network’ at heart of Gumede trial – Daily Friend

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