Bandile Masuku vs David Makhura PPE battle heading to court
Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Friday announced the firing of embattled MEC for Health Bandile Masuku.
But Masuku has said he will challenge the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report implicating him in wrongdoing in court.
Masuku has been on extended special leave since July 30 after allegations surfaced he facilitated the granting of multimillion-rand PPE tenders to his family friends.
Makhura made the announcement on Friday and stated that he will not appoint a replacement until the SIU has finalised its investigation into PPE corruption.
Public transport and roads infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo will remain the acting health MEC in the province.
”I have decided as the premier of the province to discharge Masuku from his responsibilities as the Gauteng MEC for health. I have taken into cognisance the contribution that Masuku played in improving the department of health since his appointment and the leadership he provided during Covid-19, which is something indisputable but there are issues before me,” the premier said.
But, he said in a televised address “the SIU has found that the Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act.
“Based on this finding, they then recommended that the premier of the province should take administrative action against the MEC for the purpose of determining the suitability to hold office as an MEC for Health.
“With regard to the substantive public interest on the issue of whether the MEC was involved in acts of corruption or collusion, the SIU reported to me that this investigation is ongoing.”
It was alleged Masuku 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.
Masuku said the SIU report handed to Makhura made incorrect and non-factual findings about him.
According to Masuku, he understands the public outcry due to PPE corruption and fraud but indicated he was, in fact, the person who asked for the investigation into possible PPE fraud.
The appointment of Masuku, a medical doctor, last year was warmly welcomed at the time and he was seen to be active in the the field and during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.