Former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, has thrown his weight behind Zandile Gumede, who has been accused of corruption.
In a viral video shared on social media at the weekend, Zuma congratulated Gumede on her redeployment as an MPL in KwaZulu-Natal. She is taking over from Ricardo Mthembu, who died of Covid-19 complications in July.
“Mama Zandile Gumede congratulations for being appointed to the provincial legislature. It is high time,” said Zuma. “Innocent until proven guilty, that is the basis we should all respect. The court of public opinion and public perception is a great place for debate and discussions about all manner of things and topics.”
Zuma said Gumede, who is set to appear in court in September on charges linked to a tender fraud case dating back to 2016, should not be judged. He slammed leaders for judging Gumede, saying they are “flip-flopping” and should be “ashamed” of themselves.
“As it stands, leaders who are flip-flopping on this premise should be ashamed of themselves, and should not be doing this to people who have not had their day in court, especially if they believe in the ANC,” said Zuma.
He encouraged Gumede to “keep working hard” and “keep pushing the envelope”.
“I support you for sure. I am not the only one who does so, and all the best to you. Congratulations once again,” Zuma said.
Gumede and 17 other accused have been charged with corruption and fraud relating to the R430m Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender.
Last year, she was granted R50,000 bail at the Durban specialised commercial crimes court, along with municipal councillor Mondli Mthembu.
By Unathi Nanjeni – TimesLIVE