Johannesburg - The Special Investigative Unit has warned former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku that its investigations into the irregular awarding of personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders would continue.
The unit reacted on Sunday to comments made by Masuku on Saturday after he said the “SIU had effectively propped me as the proverbial poster boy of Covid-19 related corruption.“
Masuku was reacting to the decision by the ANC national disciplinary committee to overturn the Gauteng ANC’s decision to suspend his membership in the provincial executive committee.
Along with suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko he was hauled before the ANC provincial disciplinary committee following reports of their alleged involvement in tender fraud related to the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) by Gauteng Health.
After the NDC announced its outcome, Masuku used that opportunity to lambaste the SIU, saying: “On the April 12, 2021, a full Bench of the North Gauteng High Court per Sutherland J emphatically found that the SIU’s findings (dubbed opinions by the court) that I was involved in corruption and nepotism are devoid of merit.
“At the time, the SIU had effectively propped me up as the proverbial poster boy of Covid-19 related corruption. Specifically, the court found that the SIU saw no crime being committed by me and that there was no basis for civil action against me.”
But the SIU has dismissed Masuku’s claims.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the SIU never made a finding of corruption and nepotism against the sacked MEC of Health in Gauteng, adding that investigations into his state of affairs were still ongoing.
“It is therefore self-serving for him to misrepresent to the public what actually transpired. The SIU rejects the notion that we propped him up as the poster boy for corruption. The SIU is on record stating that at the time of making a referral to the Gauteng premier to take action against Dr Masuku, it had concluded the process and administrative part of the investigation of the Gauteng Health Department procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the pandemic.”
Kganyago further said: “The criminal investigation is still ongoing. When evidence pointing to criminality is uncovered during the criminal investigation, the SIU will refer such evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks for further action.”
He maintained that the interpretation of the high court judgment by Masuku was flawed, adding he (Masuku) sought to project himself as though he had been vindicated when he had lost and the court had even awarded a punitive order for him to pay the SIU the costs for two counsel.
“The issue of him being corrupt or not was not part of what the court had to determine, as the SIU had not even made a determination on it yet. The SIU is in the process of recovering the cost from him,” Kganyago said.