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Bandile Masuku and Khusela Diko to face ANC disciplinary hearings

Former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku.
Former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku.
Image: Alaister Russel/Sunday Times

The ANC in Gauteng has resolved to refer the province’s axed health MEC Bandile Masuku and suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko to the party’s disciplinary structures over their alleged role in PPE corruption and other tender irregularities.

ANC Gauteng provincial secretary Jacob Khawe made the announcement after a virtual meeting of the party’s provincial executive committee.

Masuku was fired from his position in government earlier this month by Gauteng premier David Makhura after a damning report by the Special Investigating Unit that probed alleged PPE corruption in the provincial health department that took place under his watch.

The allegations related to a R139m PPE tender awarded to a company owned by Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of Khusela Diko, by the health department under Masuku’s leadership several months ago when the government began spending billions of rand on Covid-19 supplies.

The Dikos and the Masukus are family friends, and have separately denied any wrongdoing.

But Khawe, in a statement on Wednesday night, said the ANC's provincial executive committee had resolved that Masuku and Khusela should no longer participate in its meetings pending the outcomes of their disciplinary proceedings.

“The outcome of the DC will determine if both comrades should continue being PEC members or not. To protect the integrity of both the ANC and the affected members, the PEC resolved that Bandile Masuku and Khusela Diko should not participate in organisational processes that relate to the finalisation of the PEC decision,” said Khawe.

However, in relation to Masuku’s wife, Loyiso, who had also being implicated in the corruption allegations, Khawe said reports presented to them by their provincial integrity commission and the provincial working committee “couldn’t find any direct link” of her being involved in PPE corruption.

“Therefore, the PEC endorsed the PWC recommendation that she be allowed to go back to work. This decision also takes into consideration that there is currently a SIU investigation and should anything be found that suggests otherwise, then the PEC will reconsider its decision,” he said.

Loyiso is an MMC in the City of Johannesburg.

Khawe said the PEC has endorsed Makhura’s sacking of Masuku and urged him to move with speed in appointing a permanent replacement to the post, and to addressing the leadership vacuum in the health department, that has lost many senior officials to the PPE scandal.

“The meeting further mandated the premier to urgently appoint a MEC so as to bring in much-needed stability in the department. It is an open secret that the department has no senior staff personnel in the form of MEC, HOD, DDG, CFO and everyone is in an acting capacity,” he said.

Four former officials at the Gauteng department of health made their first appearance in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court. Their case relates to allegations contained in a SIU report from 2018 which shows alleged financial misconduct and corruption that cost the department more than R1.2bn between 2006 and 2010.

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