Presidency yet to confirm Khusela Diko’s return after PPE scandal
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The Presidency is yet to confirm reports that its spokesperson Khusela Diko, has been reinstated to her position following a lengthy leave of absence, and disciplinary hearings against her.
Diko has been on a leave of absence for just over a year after reports that her husband, the late Amabhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, secured a R125million Covid-19 PPE tender from the Gauteng health department.
The provincial department was led by Diko’s family friend and close ally Bandile Masuku at the time.
Madzikane had allegedly received the tender because of his close relationship with Masuku.
Ramaphosa then authorised the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to probe the tender.
While Diko took special leave, Masuku voluntarily stepped aside and was later removed from the provincial cabinet by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, after the SIU found he had failed in his oversight role.
The SIU also found that the multi-million rand PPE tender was irregular and unlawfu, but Diko has maintained that she was not involved in her husband’s business interests.
The ANC’s provincial integrity committee found that Diko and Masuku had brought the party into disrepute and recommended they step down from the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).
The duo challenged that recommendation and in May this year, both Diko and Masuku were cleared by the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC).
In March, Ramaphosa said although the NDC had cleared Diko of any wrongdoing, she remained suspended from her position as presidential spokesperson until all internal processes were concluded.
In February this year Madzikane died while Diko was pregnant.
Diko reportedly gave birth to a son. If reports of her reinstatement as Ramaphosa’s spokesperson rove true, it means she will only return to work after her maternity leave.