The mayor of South Africa’s third largest city, Durban, has been arrested on charges of corruption.
The arrest was made on Tuesday, May 14th, and marks yet another corruption scandal to hit the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC).
The Durban mayor, Zandile Gumede, 58, has led the city for the past three years and is a member of the ANC. She faces charges of embezzling public funds and money laundering, according to a statement released by the city.
"The municipality will co-operate fully with the legal process," said Msawakhe Mayisela, the spokesperson of the south-eastern city.
The arrest comes in the wake of investigations that were led by the special police investigations unit known as the Hawks. The police unit was looking into fraud and corruption involving a $14.6-million tender to treat solid waste.
"Service providers were allegedly paid huge amounts of monies even though they did not render any service," said Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi.
After a brief hearing in court on Tuesday, Gumede was freed on bail. She and 11 other suspects who also face similar charges, will return to court on August 8th.
This is the latest corruption scandal involving officials of the ruling ANC, who have been in power for the past 25 years.
According to AFP, the ANC has battled numerous corruption scandals, sluggish economic growth, record unemployment and poverty. These are also some of the key issues President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to tackle as he enters his new term in office.