For immediate release
20 December 2018
Re: EThekwini Mayor Obtains Durban High Court Interdict to Prevent Defamation of Her Character
The Mayor of eThekwini, Cllr Zandile Gumede takes serious exception to ongoing campaigns mounted in various media houses aimed at creating an impression that she is a corrupt leader who is influencing the awarding of tenders.
To this end, the mayor has vowed to pursue every legal means to deal decisively with those who are peddling lies that borders on defaming her character.
Recently, the Durban High Court interdicted Mr Calvin Mathibeli from making defamatory statements against Mayor Zandile Gumede.
On the 29th July 2018, the Sunday Tribune published an interview in which Calvin Mathibeli made frivolous allegations against Mayor Zandile Gumede. He subsequently repeated the same allegations on Gagasi fm; and further posted on his facebook page.
It was alleged that Mayor Zandile Gumede was behind a R650 million construction project awarded to eight companies in 2015. Mathibeli, as one of the contractors awarded a tender to work on the project, alleged that Mayor Zandile Gumede had demanded a bribe of R100 000. He further alleged that she ordered the termination of the contract of his company - Calvin and Family Properties and Development.
It should be noted that Mayor Zandile Gumede had never given any instruction for illegal or criminal act. To suggest such was defamatory. It is for this reason that she approached the Durban High Court.
The Durban High Court Judge Mnguni granted an interdict, ordering and restraining Calvin Mathibeli from, in any manner, making any defamatory statements related to Mayor Zandile Gumede either personally or through the agency of any third party.
Mayor Gumede explained: “I have never involved myself in tender irregularities. In addition, I have no direct involvement in advertising, adjudication, awarding and cancelation of tenders. These are the administrative functions under the direct ambit of the administration and functionaries who report to Council.”
She warned: “I have noticed that some newspapers are prejudging issues even before they are given factual responses. I understand that it is not the duty of journalists to be my praise singers. Therefore, I accept constructive criticism that is backed up by facts. However, I will never hesitate to take legal action against information peddlers who seems to be on a campaign aimed at tarnishing my good name. ”
The mayor has reiterated her unconditional support for all initiatives aimed at fighting fraud and corruption. These includes the City Integrity and Investigations Unit (CIIU), the Municipal Public Accounts Committee, the Ethics committee and an independent Audit Committee. Working with law enforcement agencies, these have been instrumental in providing oversight of financial management and integrity of the municipality.
She has further also called on communities not to pay bribes to any municipal employees or councillors as they are paid to perform their services.
“We are committed to training our community to understand their rights and the quality of services they are entitled to. Our view is that it is when citizens know what service to expect that they can expose and resist any official that disrespect and abuse them by extracting bribes for services they are paid to render.”
Issued by Mayoral Parlour, Durban City Hall – for more information contact Mayoral Spokesperson – 071 412 7701
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