The trio at the centre of a R125 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) contract in Gauteng has been removed from their positions pending an investigation.
Gauteng MEC of Health Dr. Bandile Masuku and Johannesburg MMC of Cooperate Services Loyiso Masuku have joined Khusela Diko in what is described as leave of absence with immediate by the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng.
While the three will be subjected to other internal processes, the party says it is now time law enforcers probe if there was a tender bonanza in the province.
The trio’s problems stem from their alleged involvement in a scandal in which a multi-million rand contract was awarded to a company belonging to Khusela Diko’s husband to supply PPEs in Gauteng.
ANC Provincial Secretary Jacob Khawe says the party is continuously losing the support of residents due to alleged corruption and so, the governing party must act.
“These comrades, comrade Khusela and comrade Loyiso and Bandile be on a temporary leave of absence for the duration of two to four weeks, while the processes of SIU together with the internal process of the pictures is taking place. We took these decisions with the incline of clean governance. We equally took this decision not as an admission of guilt but a due process,” says ANC Gauteng Secretary, Jacob Khawe.
In the video below, ANC Gauteng announces the removal of the trio:
The special PEC meeting also resolved that both Masuku’s and Khusela Diko appear before the party’s provincial Integrity Commission.
“The PEC has resolved that comrade Khusela and comrade Bandile be subjected to the provincial Integrity Committee and we are doing this guided by the request that both these comrades made. So, both comrade Khusela and Bandile would have written a process that would clear. They are going to the Integrity with immediate effect. Integrity must finish its work within two to four weeks,” says Khawe.
King Diko responds
Khusela Diko’s husband King Thandisizwe Diko has described the decision to take the trio to the provincial Integrity Committee as irrational.
“I have noted that the ANC has taken their decision. Unfortunately, Mrs. Diko has nothing to do with my business as Royal Bhaca. It’s very unfortunate. But I also understand the South Africans in what seems as anger and painted as an act of corruption,” says AmaBhaca King, Thandisizwe Diko.
‘No proper procurement systems’
However, the ANC says their decision is justified. The party also says the Health Department had no proper procurement systems and tenders were not advertised.
It says the SIU report points out that, some official was just calling companies to dish out tenders.
“Companies did not apply for tenders or contracts as normal. There was a special arrangement and this arrangement it is like as such, there was an official in the department who would call companies and say they can provide (services). It was an abnormal situation and the state was at risk of being manipulated and the government must investigate if there was a tender bonanza,” says ANC Gauteng Secretary, Jacob Khawe.
Premier David Makhura has also been tasked to take the residents of Gauteng into confidence on why there were no tender procurement systems in place in the Department of Health.
As SABC’s Chriselda Lewis reports 102 companies, which received purchase orders for personal protective equipment, are currently under investigation: