The Zandile Gumede corruption matter has been postponed.
- The Zandile Gumede corruption matter has been postponed to 10 December while a forensic report is finalised.
- The report, according to prosecutors, will contain hundreds of thousands of pages of information.
- Some of the information gathered was sourced from investigations during search-and-seizure operations last year.
The State, led by senior prosecutor Ashika Lucken, put a dent in embattled MPL Zandile Gumede’s hopes of having her corruption case thrown out on Thursday.
Gumede, through her lawyer Jay Naidoo in July, said they would apply to have the case provisionally withdrawn if the State’s case, which has been fraught with postponements since May 2019, was not sufficiently prepared.
Lucken and investigating officers, however, came to the party and said that a forensic audit report central to the case was nearing completion and would be done by 10 December, the next appearance for Gumede.
She outlined to Judge Dawn Somaroo that source documents in the audit trail relating to the R430 million DSW case had been submitted.
She said invoices, delivery notes, requisitions, weigh bridge slips and contracts came to 6 500 pages.
Lucken said bank statements and financial records, that allegedly depict the flow of funds from these DSW tenders, came to an estimated 460 000 pages. She added that bank documents contained 6 million lines of data.
She said search-and-seizure documents amounted to 5 250 pages. Devices seized during search and seizure had a whopping 250 gigs of data.
“Analysis of search and seizure docs with electronic docs analysed and captured in excess of 1.8 million lines of data. Relationship mapping and background search comprises 24 000 pages of data 450 individuals being interviewed,” she said.
Lucken said most of the information had been gathered.
“In the main, the submission is, that most of the information required for the forensic auditor to bring the report to a state of completeness is in the hands of investigators. Certain information is still coming through and there are positive responses to bank queries.”
She said investigations were at the final stretch.
“There has been various interactions with heads of entities that still had to supply certain documents to the state, statements that had to be taken from witnesses, these interactions have been ongoing and a lot of this information has come through.”
Lucken added that, once the report was finalised in December, it would take no more than six to eight weeks to draw up a final indictment.
A provision for any further delays was however made by Naidoo who said that if the State determined that the report would not be finalised by 10 December, he should be informed.
Judge Somaroo concurred and ruled that if the report was incomplete, then an inquiry over why there’s been a delay in investigations would take place. She added that defence attorneys could apply for the matter to be struck off the court roll.
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