Gauteng Premier David Makhura has appointed Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo as Acting Health MEC.
The Premier has placed Health MEC Bandile Masuku on a leave of absence over his alleged involvement in a controversial tender to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the department during the coronavirus pandemic.
#COVID19 | #Makhura I am disappointed to have an MEC who was leading the fight on COVID-19 so well being implicated in such allegations. I am therefore placing MEC @bandilemasuku on a leave of absence. #COVID19 #GAUTENGCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/TcgQxOWoDD
— GautengGov (@GautengProvince) July 30, 2020
Masuku has been accused of influencing the processes that led to the R125 million tender being awarded to Royal Bhaca – a company owned by Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband – amaBhaca Chief Thandisizwe Diko.
Masuku has denied the allegation.
Earlier today, the ANC in Gauteng announced that Khusela Diko, Masuku and his wife Loyiso will appear before the party’s Integrity Commission.
Loyiso Masuku is a member of the Mayoral Committee in the City of Johannesburg.
Makhura was speaking at the weekly briefing on Gauteng’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He says the allegations are concerning.
“At this point, I’m really disappointed to have a MEC who has been leading in this front, very well, facing allegations that I cannot ignore. This cannot be ignored by any serious government. As the Premier of Gauteng, I’m therefore giving MEC Masuku leave of absence, initially for the next four weeks. We’re hoping that all these investigations will be completed.”
Provincial Command Council updates public on COVID-19 in Gauteng:
AmaBhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko says he went ahead with a controversial R125 million contract with the Gauteng Department of Health for the supply of personal protective gear, against the advice of his wife Khusela.
He says it is unfortunate that his wife and others are now being punished for the tender awarded to his company.
Khusela Diko has also taken leave of absence from her duties while the investigation continues.
The SIU is investigating the matter.
King Madzikane says there was no money paid to his company for the contract.
“There is no public money that was paid to Royal Bhaca. I didn’t consult with my wife before bidding for the contract, but after I had gotten the contract she was uncomfortable about it initially, and I went ahead against what she had said and then later, she came back and said look ‘I still insist that you must not go ahead with the contract. I’m in the office of the president.’ And then I had to consider that and I pulled out the company. I requested that the contract must be cancelled.”