Gauteng Premier David Makhura fires Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku
Bandile Masuku has been axed as the Gauteng health MEC. This is on the back of a report by the special investigating unit that found Masuku failed to discharge his duties as the political head of the health department in the province.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said that he was “discharging” Masuku from his role as MEC based on the report by the SIU.
SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE yesterday reported that the SIU investigation placed Masuku squarely in the middle of the personal protective equipment corruption that rocked the Gauteng province.
The report is said to have found that Masuku was made aware of the irregularities in the procurement of PPE but did nothing or very little to act on it. Makhura said that the SIU recommended he takes action to determine whether Masuku is suitable to continue holding the position of health MEC.
“Based on their finding, where they say that the MEC has failed to execute his functions in compliance with constitution and the PFMA, I have decided as the premier of the province to discharge Dr Bandile Masuku from his responsibilities as the Gauteng MEC for health,” Makhura said.
He said the SIU was still investigating whether Masuku played any role in the actual corruption that took place in his department.
Makhura said he appreciated the work Masuku has done at the health department since his appointment last year.
“But there are issues before me as the head of the provincial government based on the SIU report that I must act on and it is on that basis that I have decided to discharge MEC Masuku as the MEC responsible for health in our province,” Makhura said.
Makhura said he would not replace Masuku until the SIU has concluded its investigation.
He said if the SIU investigation clears Masuku of any act of corruption he will be reinstated.
“I do want to know, and get this concluded before I appoint the MEC for health in Gauteng because I want to say, should MEC Masuku be cleared, I will gladly reappoint him as the MEC for health,” Makhura said.
SowetanLIVE understands that the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) will meet on Sunday to deliberate on Makhura’s decision and whether to also remove Masuku as a member of the PEC.
Other PEC members told SowetanLIVE that they were not consulted about Makhura’s decision to fire Masuku but that they will ventilate their frustrations at the meeting on Sunday.
They said that although they appreciate that Makhura is acting in his capacity as head of government, Masuku was a deployee of the ANC in Gauteng and they ought to be consulted.
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