Durban – Bagcinele Cynthia Nzuza, 61, cut a clean and composed figure on Tuesday in the dock of the Durban Commercial Crime Specialist Court.
She was placed in police custody in the early hours of the same morning before her appearance in court, where she was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, corruption and money laundering.
She was added as a defendant 18 in a DSW bidding scandal case alongside her husband and former mayor Zandile Gumede, as well as other senior city officials and councilors.
Hawks spokesman Colonel Katle Mogale said Bagcinele “allegedly facilitated the installation of a built-in kitchen in her mother-in-law’s house, and one of the service providers involved in a multi-million dollar solid waste tender, allegedly paid RUB 18,000 for installation.”
But who is Bagcinele or “Gcina” as it is called on social media?
The 61-year-old has been married to her husband since 1989 and has two sons whom they still maintain. They live in their home at the Zimbali Coastal Resort.
She has two bachelor’s degrees, one in education and one in library science, but she says on her LinkedIn profile that she is a Christian spiritual adviser and is self-employed according to her Facebook.
He is also the only member of Shunamite Enterprises CC that owns a vegetable farm in Compensation, Kwazulu-natal, which was purchased in January.
It provides employment and its current market value is 8 million R2.
Nzuzas are co-owners of a Cape Town home worth around 5 million rupees, which was purchased in 2015 and is currently rented from Air BNB. He is also the director and 20% shareholder of a company called Site Flash.
It owns three cars, a Lexus, a Toyota Prius and a Volkswagen Polo, with a total market value of around 350,000 rupees. As a couple, they jointly own furniture and real estate worth around Rs500,000.
However, it claims to have a total gross monthly income of 40,000 rubles and a variable net income after deductions of around 20,000 rupees.
Her family home, where her 94-year-old father lives, is in Empangeni.
During the first court hearing, Bagcinele filed a bail petition, which prosecutor Hazel Siraramen said she would not oppose, but asked to be set at 50,000 rupees, claiming she had substantial assets and means to pay.
Her lawyer, Bheki Manyathi, demanded a bail of 15,000 rupees because he was instructed that 50,000 rubles would not be affordable as her husband was released on 50,000 rubles after his arrest in March and would cost the household a total of 100,000 rupees.
Magistrate Dawn Somaroo has made a bail of R30,000 provided that he notifies the police at least 48 hours in advance if he intends to leave the province or the country and informs the police upon his return. She was ordered not to contact anyone who is in charge of managing the municipality’s supply chain.
She was not considered to be at risk of flight but handed over her passport and was advised that she could not apply for further travel documents until the case was completed.
The couple will reappear in court on December 10 with their co-accused.
The plot thickened on Tuesday in the Rupee 430m Durban Solid Waste (DSW) fraud and corruption scandal when Bagcinele, the wife of Ethekwini commune manager Sipho Nzuza, was charged with the number 18.