DA wants Ramaphosa to force Makhura to step down over PPE fraud scandal
Johannesburg - The DA in Gauteng has said it would ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to force Premier David Makhura to step down claiming that a former provincial health official had implicated him in the tender fraud scandal involving personal protective equipment (PPE).
While there is controversy around the affidavit of former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer (CFO) Kabelo Lehloenya, on whether she made direct reference to Makhura or the office of the Premier, the DA insists that the affidavit was enough evidence for the first citizen to step aside.
Makhura has since denied the allegations.
DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga, on Thursday used the affidavit including a Tribunal judgment, to ask the Hawks to investigate Makhura.
Their complaint against Makhura was made electronically.
In the judgment, handed out on December 10, the judge found that Lehloenya said the Premier, former Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and former HOD Dr Mkhululi Lukhele - who has also resigned - had allegedly given her instructions to award PPE tenders to companies of their choice.
Now, the DA says, “Following the recent revelations by the former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province there is an urgent need for action to be taken against Premier Makhura.
The following are some of the corruption scandals that have happened while the people of Gauteng suffer under the Covid pandemic:
R2,2 billion was spent by the Gauteng Department of Health on fishy PPE suppliers in three months last year. The department paid inflated prices above the National Treasury’s regulated PPE price list and the husband of the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khuselo Diko reportedly scored part of this contract to supply PPE for the Covid-19 pandemic,
Makhura has been implicated in the Gauteng Department of Health PPE scandals by the former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya who stated in her affidavit to the special tribunal that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province,
AngloGold Ashanti hospital on the Far West Rand received R500 million worth of funding in order to equip it with extra beds and facilities to treat Covid-19 patients. The wards are still incomplete and are under construction. The completed areas have no equipment and there is no indication that the hospital will be ready for use anytime soon.
Msimanga said the Gauteng Department of Education has also spent more than R431 million on sanitising schools in three months between June and August last year.
“It is critical now more than ever that the standard that was set with the dismissal of MEC Masuku is also applied to Premier Makhura and that Premier Makhura is investigated to determine the extent of his involvement in these corruption scandals.
“As the Premier of Gauteng, Makhura has failed in his oversight duty to safeguard our coffers and he must be held accountable for failing to prevent corruption in this province.
“It is sad and disgraceful that the heads of the province are tainted by corruption scandals with the money meant to save lives during this critical period of Covid-19 pandemic,” Msimanga said.
He said his party would be calling for an urgent sitting in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) saying he would be tabling a motion of no confidence in Makhura “as he has shown that he is not fit to govern Gauteng.”
“We will also be exploring other mechanisms to ensure that Makhura is held to account.
While awaiting a full investigation by the Hawks, I will also be writing to President Ramaphosa to act against Makhura as a matter of urgency,” Msimanga said.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase confirmed that the DA lodged a complaint with their office.
“The matter is receiving our attention and we will give them feedback in due course,” Nkwalase.
He, however, said ordinarily such cases should have been opened at a police station if they have evidence to support a charge of corruption.
“This matter will be dealt with in a case by case manner. We will evaluate its evidence before making any decision to investigate,” Nkwalase said.