Former MEC Masuku to challenge SIU PPE findings in court this week
Johannesburg - Former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku will have his day to argue before the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday why he believes the Special Investigative Unit had erred in its PPE findings against him.
Masuku filed an urgent application last year petitioning the court to hear his appeal of the SIU's PPE report. Gauteng Premier David Makhura used the SIU's findings and recommendations to fire Masuku in October following his leave of absence since July.
The SIU found that Masuku had failed to exercise his duties in compliance with the Constitution and the Public Service Management Act.
The former MEC had been accused of playing a role in the wrongful awarding of PPE tenders. One of those contracts involved President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko's husband.
The Masuku's and Diko's are family friends, and Diko's husband, Thandisizwe, was awarded a R125 million PPE tender by the department of health while Masuku was at the helm.
Makhura previously explained that he had no choice but to remove Masuku following the SIU recommending that he take administrative action against the former MEC.
Masuku has, however, not been found guilty of being part of corrupt acts as the SIU indicated that it was still investigating that aspect.
As a result, he will now embark to argue against the SIU's report, which his lawyers believe should be set aside and labelled as "unlawful, unconstitutional, and invalid and further seek that the adverse findings be set aside".
"The SIU has failed to produce an iota of evidence of actual wrongdoing on our client's part. It has relied instead on imaginary wrongdoing, factually incorrect statements and relied on wrong conclusions," Masuku's lawyers Motalane Inc argued.
"It is our client's view that the SIU's findings are irrational, devoid of evidence and of legal foundation. They offend the principle of legality in every respect, and thus, our client is optimistic that the Gauteng provincial division, Pretoria, will properly consider the matter before it and reach the correct findings."
His lawyers said the report had to be overturned as it has grave implications for Masuku's political and professional future.
“The findings of the SIU have the propensity to impair not only the political and professional work of our client, now and in the future, but that of all other executive authorities.”