Pretoria – Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the fate of Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku would be finalised this weekend.
This follows concerns about Masuku’s extended special leave which has been in effect from July 30 after allegations surfaced that he facilitated multimillion PPE tenders to his family friends.
It was alleged that he played a pivotal role in the awarding of a R125million PPE tender to Royal Bhaca Projects – a company 100%-owned by Thandisizwe Diko – the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko.
The Masukus and Dikos are family friends. Masuku’s wife Loyiso is also a business partner of Thandisizwe’s. Both families have denied the allegations.
Makhura initially promised that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) would conclude its investigations within six weeks but that has been exceeded.
However, he said yesterday he was expecting a final SIU report on Masuku before the end of this week. He was happy with the progress of the investigation. “I am satisfied it will help me to determine what kind of action should be taken.”
“The SIU will give me a report before the end of the week. I want to know if any of our colleagues or officials benefited from the PPE tenders. We will make sure action is taken. I want to hold everyone around us accountable.
“All those involved in Covid-19 corruption and malfeasance – whether they are public officials, public servants or business people – must be brought to justice.
“We want to know who has fleeced the government,” Makhura said.
He also revealed that all municipalities in Gauteng were under investigation by the SIU for any irregularities in the awarding of PPE tenders.
He was commenting following an exposé that more than R80m worth of PPE tenders had been issued at the City of Joburg under the ANC’s Geoff Makhubo, the mayor.
Makhura also said the SIU would be referring more companies to the Special Tribunal for the freezing of assets. The premier said the number of companies that had been found to have conducted business irregularly had increased from 40 to 61.
“Not all companies were found to have conducted businesses wrongly. The SIU has cleared some of them. As a result of the report, I’ve allowed those companies to continue doing business with the provincial government, including in the procurement of PPEs,” Makhura said.
His revelations came as Thandisizwe Diko and others are expected on Tuesday to challenge an interim order which froze their bank accounts at the Special Tribunal sitting in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Makhura also announced the appointment of Gauteng Health COO Lesiba Malotana as the acting head following the suspension of Dr Mkhululi Lukhele on Wednesday.
Makhura said Lukhele had not personally committed acts of corruption but as an accounting officer had failed to act against malfeasance.
Makhura also said another Gauteng Health official, Andile Gwabeni, deputy director-general human resources, had been linked by the SIU to PPE procurement irregularities.
Gwabeni referred all inquiries to the health department.