Masuku not challenging his sacking but SIU report, lawyer tells court

Dr Bandile Masuku.
Dr Bandile Masuku.
Image: Gallo Images

Lawyers representing former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku have defended his decision not to challenge his dismissal but rather challenge the findings of an SIU report that was used to fire him.

Advocate William Mokhari SC for Masuku told the High Court in Pretoria that the former MEC was not interested in reviewing Gauteng premier David Makhura’s decision as it has no impact on his reputation.

Mokhari was questioned by Judge Thina Siwendu as to why Masuku was not seeking relief in relation to his dismissal.

“I am trying to understand the rationale of this collateral challenge. Assuming that we are with you that the findings are incorrect, what then in the purpose of the relief that we would grant. It is just an academic relief. Why hasn’t [the applicant] challenged the premier who made the decision,” Siwendu asked.

But Mokhari opposed this arguing that his client had the discretion to accept or reject the SIU findings.

“It is not academic because the findings remain as long as they are not set aside and they continue to impugn his dignity and reputation. Today we have the Constitution which is meant to ensure that the organs of state do not impugn the dignity and reputation of citizens without just course.

“We are challenging the findings…because they stand as an albatross on his neck for the rest of his life. If he does not set them aside, it means that he does not have any recourse anywhere. The constitution says he does have the recourse and that recourse is within the courts,” Mokhari said.

Masuku is seeking to review findings made by the SIU on the PPE scandal, which were used by Makhura to fire him.

The SIU placed Masuku at the centre of the PPE scandal, in which Royal Bhaca Projects, a company owned by the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko scored a R125m tender.

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