Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Under-fire Cederberg Municipality takes PPE matter to high court

By Siphokazi Vuso, Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Sep 21, 2020

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Cape Town - The embattled Cederberg Municipality’s bid to halt further search and seizure operations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has landed in the Western Cape High Court.

This follows another operation relating to alleged irregular procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the municipal offices last Monday.

The SIU had also swooped on the municipality’s premises on September 10, with mayor Sylvia Qunta threatening to haul the unit before the courts for attaching laptops and private cellphones of staff members, allegedly without a proclamation or warrant.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said yesterday that the matter was to be heard in early October.

“In agreement with all parties involved, the matter will be heard early October. No date has been set yet.”

According to an insider, the municipality had to respond to a 100-page document from the SIU, presented on Friday. No further details could be divulged.

The ANC in Gauteng, meanwhile, is today expected to outline the outcomes of its provincial executive committee meeting held at the weekend to decide the future of its provincial Health MEC, Bandile Masuku.

The much-awaited decision comes just after Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu had earlier this month made adverse findings against the provincial Health Department.

This was related to its handling of the allocation of personal protective equipment (PPE) following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ANC has grappled with a decision on Masuku’s future following allegations that he influenced the awarding of a R125 million tender to Royal Bhaca Projects - a company wholly 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 - a Joburg City councillor - is also a business partner of Thandisizwe Diko.

Apart from its expected decision, the party and Gauteng Premier David Makhura are also expected to determine measures to stop the rot in Gauteng Health.

Key officials in the Health Department are the subject of a Hawks investigation.

One such official is the former chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya, and head of supply chain management Thandi Pino.

The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has already lodged a criminal complaint.

At the same time, the unit has also lodged civil actions to recoup some of the funds paid to these dubious companies.

However, reports emerged over the weekend that ANC heavyweights were divided over Masuku.

There was a group that wanted him out but others were reportedly resisting the move.

Cape Times

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