The ANC’s Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) has asked Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife, Johannesburg member of the mayoral committee Loyiso Masuku to step aside as the fallout rages on.
The PEC held a special sitting on Wednesday evening to discuss alleged corruption involving its officials linked to the R125 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender in Gauteng. It will also ask the Special Investigating Unit to fast-track its probe into the matter.
Masuku, his wife and presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, who is also a member of the Gauteng PEC, have all been referred to the provincial integrity committee.
Gauteng provincial secretary, Jacob Khawe, briefed the media on Thursday on the outcomes of the party’s special PEC sitting on Wednesday. He said if it didn’t act decisively, the ANC ran the risk of being seen as unable or unwilling to fight corruption.
“The PEC has resolved that we as the ANC, whether we like it or not, we are losing trust among the people with regards to our ability and capability to deal with corruption. Our leaders must know that their actions should be understood in the context of the organisation’s renewal process and that the image of the organisation must come first,” said Khawe.
He added that the PEC welcomed the SIU investigation and Gauteng Premier David Makhura had been tasked with asking the SIU to treat the investigation “with the urgency it requires”.
“If we are to say the contracts deviated from the proper procurement process because of the Covid-19 coronavirus, then we should equally give urgency to the investigation given that it’s relief funding meant for the vulnerable that is in question,” said Khawe.
He said the PEC agreed that proper procurement processes were not followed. “The awarding of the tender appears as if some officials seat and requested that companies that could provide the services make presentations and then the tenders were awarded. This is not the right way but given the pandemic, we understand how this may have been the case,” said Khawe.
He said besides the SIU investigation, the PEC, the Masukus and Diko were in agreement that there should be a process to clear their names. “And in this regard, we have also referred the three to the provincial integrity committee,” he said, adding that the committee had been given two to four weeks to report back to the premier.
Khawe welcomed Diko’s decision to step aside and the PEC felt the Masukus should step aside until the two investigations are finalised.
The fallout for the tender followed a SA TIMES report last week about the alleged improprieties in the awarding of a contract to a company owned by Diko’s husband, amaBhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, who sits on the governing party’s PEC.
The paper also raised concerns over the Dikos proximity to the Masukus.
Both families have publicly denied any wrongdoing. But Khawe said the investigation was not “undermining the law of natural justice”.
“We are not finding anyone guilty, we are merely offering platforms from which these serious allegations can be ventilated,” he said.