Khusela Diko says husband's company did nothing wrong but shouldn't have applied for tender
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said on Wednesday that she “regretted” her husband’s company seeking to do business with the Gauteng health department.
In a joint statement with her husband, King Madzikane II, she admitted that there was public anger over reports that Madzikane’s company Royal Bhaca Projects was awarded R125m in tenders for personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Over the last week, as individuals, a couple and a family, we have found ourselves at the centre of a media and public storm over a Gauteng health department PPE supply contract that was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects and subsequently cancelled,” she said.
“Despite the absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid to Royal Bhaca Projects — details of which will be further ventilated by the investigations — the matter continues to draw outrage from across society.”
Diko said she understood that allegations of state capture were playing into the anger — though she had voluntarily stepped down as Ramaphosa’s spokesperson pending an investigation into the claims.
She said she regretted that the company even applied for the tender in the first place.
“Although there was no corruption in the bidding and subsequent awarding of the PPE contract to Royal Bhaca Projects, we accept that years of cronyism have created an environment of mistrust and suspicion when individuals who are close to political office and influence are seen to be benefiting from the state in ways that may be unethical.
“We have attempted to rectify this matter by seeking to cancel the contract, and we deeply regret the error of judgment that led Royal Bhaca to seek to do business with this department in the first place.
“We support the measures that government has put in place to investigate and prosecute all instances of the misuse of funds related to the response to Covid-19.”
This is a developing story.