Masuku's 'own' report clears him of wrongdoing

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku
Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku
Image: Papi Morake

A forensic report commissioned by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku has cleared him of any wrong doing in the Gauteng personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal.

Darrly Furman of Darrly Furman & Associates told the Sowetan: “We were commissioned by Masuku to conduct an independent investigation into the PPE scandal.”

Masuku who earlier on Friday was fired as Health MEC could not be immediately reached to confirm this.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura fired Masuku following a finding by the SIU that the MEC failed to exercise his oversight duty on the procurement of PPE. 

Meanwhile it emerged on Friday that the attorneys Daryl Furman and Associates  had instructed Paul’O Sullivan & Associates, Forensic & Loss Control Consultants POAA to search for evidence of any criminal activity such as fraud or corruption by the Masukus.

 ’O Sullivan & Associates released the report on October 8. It will be handed over to the Gauteng government.

Meanwhile a preliminary Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report dated October 1 prepared for Gauteng premier David Makhura placed Masuku at the centre of dodgy Covid-19 PPE tender procurement processes worth R125m.

The SIU report, prepared for Makhura, is part of an investigation into Masuku’s role in the awarding of tenders to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by Thandisizwe Diko, husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s suspended spokesperson  Khusela Diko.

The Dikos and the Masukus are family friends.

In the ’O Sullivan forensic report, Masuku said he only became aware of the Royal Bhaca’s involvement of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to the provincial education department towards the end of May.

This is despite the fact that according to the report Masuku received an email from the department’s supply chain manager with two spreadsheets that contained the names of all the PPE suppliers including Royal Bhaca.

Masuku said he only became aware that the Royal Bhaca’s involvement during an urgent meeting at the Premier’s office to discuss the PPE providers.

“There was a big public upset about a guy called Hamilton Ndlovu who had made an obscene display of wealth due to his association with Gauteng Premier and PPE. We were handed a list and I was shocked to see Royal Bhaca on it. Later on the day my wife was called by Mrs Diko who informed her that her husband was involved in the supply of PPE,” Masuku said.

He said he was disappointed and felt let down to find out about this but decided to not interfere with the audit that was underway.

Masuku said even though the emails with attached listing on PPE supplies were sent at the beginning of May, he did not open his emails at the time as they were busy with medical planning around Covid-19.

The auditors said there was no evidence that indicated that Masuku’s knew that Mr Diko was engaging with the Gauteng department of health with a view of supplying PPE products before May 24.

“The Diko’s themselves made it clear that they only mentioned it to the Masuku’s after the Hamilton Ndlovu revelations became public. His stated motivation for being ‘involved’ was in delivery rather than procurement and solely to ensure that the department did not run out of essential PPE essentials. There is no evidence that Dr Masuku instructed the then CFO to appoint ‘his people’. The allegation of the supply head remains uncorroborated.

“Dr Masuku has given a perfectly plausible and provable explanation as to why he did not open the attachment to the e‐mail from the CFO on 2020‐04‐01,” read part of the ’O Sullivan report.

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