Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the R125 million tender for the COVID-19 personal protective equipment is the biggest financial scandal his government has faced since he became Premier in 2014.
Makhura has placed Health MEC Bandile Masuku on a leave of absence over his alleged involvement in the controversial tender to supply personal protective equipment to the department during the coronavirus pandemic.
The tender was awarded to Royal Bhaca, a company linked to Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, King Thandisizwe Diko.
Makhura has appointed Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo as acting Health MEC.
He also announced that more than 90 companies that have been tasked with supplying PPEs are being investigated for possibly inflating prices or other unethical practices.
Makhura says, “In the period of six years, we have had, yes, cases of corruption in this department and that department, but we haven’t had at a great scale of the allegations we are facing with the PPE now, and I want to explain the reason is because the open tender system was a pro-active measure.”
The Special African National Congress Provincial Executive Council meeting also resolved that both Masuku and his wife, and Diko appear before the party’s provincial Integrity Commission.
King Thandisizwe Diko has described the decision to take the trio to the provincial Integrity Committee as irrational.
“I have noted that the ANC has taken their decision. Unfortunately, Mrs. Diko has nothing to do with my business as Royal Bhaca. It’s very unfortunate. But I also understand generally South Africans anger around what has been painted as an act of corruption,” says Diko.