Axed Gauteng member of the executive council for health Bandile Masuku. File photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)
Axed Gauteng member of the executive council for health Bandile Masuku. File photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

’We need a new health MEC who is ethical and capable of fixing the deep rot’

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 22, 2020

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Johannesburg – The DA on Thursday backed calls for the appointment of a new member of the executive committee (MEC) for health in Gauteng, after Premier David Makhura axed Bandile Masuku over allegations he facilitated the awarding of a multi-million rand personal protective equipment tender to family friends.

DA Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom noted the provincial executive committee of the ANC had approved Masuku’s firing and had called for a new health MEC to be appointed urgently.

“This is a rebuff to Makhura who wanted to reinstate Masuku if the final Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report cleared him of corruption as opposed to his failure to stop it in the first place. I agree that we need a new health MEC who is ethical and capable of fixing the deep rot in this department,” said Bloom.

“Makhura shares the blame for the failures in this department because he was the one who appointed Masuku and Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, the head of department, and he did not monitor them effectively.

“The personal protective equipment scandal follows after the Life Esidimeni tragedy caused by Makhura’s disastrous appointments of Qedani Mahlangu as health MEC and Barney Selebano as head of the department,” Bloom added.

He noted there were currently 28 senior management vacancies in the Gauteng health department that need to be filled urgently.

“Makhura should abandon cadre deployment and ensure that all new staff at the Gauteng health department are appointed purely on merit,” said Bloom.

Earlier this month, Makhura said he was firing Masuku after the SIU found he had failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and Public Finance Management Act.

Masuku allegedly played a pivotal role in the awarding of a R125 million PPE tender to Royal Bhaca Projects, a company owned by Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman Khusela Diko.

The Masukus and Dikos are family friends and Masuku’s wife Loyiso is also a business partner of Thandisizwe Diko.

Both families have denied any wrongdoing, but Makhura said he had no option but to remove Masuku from his post, based on the SIU findings.

African News Agency (ANA)

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