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ANC trio in PPE tender saga will face a quick probe

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter

The Gauteng ANC provincial integrity commission has promised to work around the clock to ensure that its investigation into the conduct of party members implicated in the multimillion-rand personal protective equipment tender is completed in three weeks.The commission's chair, Trevor Fowler, said they will afford the three members - presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife and Johannesburg member of the mayoral committee Loyiso - an opportunity to give their side of the story.The commission, which began its work yesterday, will also ask for additional information from the trio should the need arise, Fowler said. "We will try to keep to the time lines given to us by the provincial executive committee, which gave us three weeks." The ANC in the province announced that the matter, which has seen the trio take leave of absence, has been referred to the commission.A public storm had erupted over Royal Bhaca Projects, a company owned by Diko's husband, self-styled Amabhaca king Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, which was awarded a controversial R125m tender to supply PPE to the Gauteng department of health.Diko is close friends with Loyiso whose husband's department had awarded the tender. Fowler, who declined to speak on what was expected during their investigation, said at the end of it, they would make recommendations to the province's decision-making committee."We want the process not only to be fair but to be seen as fair as well," he said.Premier David Makhura said the State Security Agency would, from this week, carry out lifestyle audits on all members of the cabinet in his government. This comes amid allegations of irregularities in the health department tenders for the much-needed protective gear.

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