Masuku yet to receive ANC charge sheet 20 days after suspension over alleged PPE corruption

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Nov 14, 2020

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Cape Town – Axed Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has yet to receive a charge sheet from the ANC’s provincial disciplinary committee more than 20 days after his temporary suspension over alleged personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement irregularities.

His lawyers, Motalane Inc, said their ’’client is considering his legal options to protect his membership rights in line with the expectations of Rule 25.57.4 and 25.57.5 of the ANC Constitution, which requires that a member be afforded the opportunity to comment on the charges before he is placed on suspension’’.

’’We have no doubt that a fair and impartial court of law will find in our client’s favour and grant our client the relief he seeks so that, in the end, justice can be done and be seen to be done.’’

Masuku’s high court application to review and set aside the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report that was used to suspend him will be heard by a full bench of judges in January, his lawyers said.

“The full bench of judges in the court will hear our client’s matter on January 21, 2021, following further exchange of legal papers by the parties in the matter over strict time limes from November 20, 2020, and by December 7, 2020, to allow the judges to consider the matter.’’

His legal team said Masuku welcomed the decision to allocate a full bench, as it shows the significance of the case.

Masuku's legal team said the case strikes at the core of foundational principles of good governance in SA, which include:

  • The separation of powers and the distinct roles between Executive, Authorities and Accounting Officers in government;
  • The principles and practice of executive oversight;
  • The powers and mandate of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU); and
  • The principles of administrative fairness and justice, all which our client firmly believes must be clarified in order to restore confidence in our governance models, accountability, decision-making processes and law enforcement.

Masuku wants the SIU findings declared unlawful and unconstitutional, and set aside. He said in an earlier affidavit '’there was no factual or legal basis for the findings and recommendations made”.

He questioned the finding that he had instructed the provincial government to centralise the procurement of PPE, insisting the decision was taken by the government following directives from the National Treasury.

Masuku said the report was used to nail him and paint him as the poster boy for Covid-19 corruption.

“The overwhelming evidence in my case show that the SIU came out guns blazing towards me with the sole objective of destroying my political and professional career,” he said.

The SIU found that Masuku failed to take reasonable steps when it came to the contract that was awarded to Royal Bhaca Project, the company of Thandisizwe Diko, husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko.

Masuku has denied this, indicating that it was he who called for an investigation into the procurement of PPE in Gauteng.

He maintained that he was never involved in the appointment of service providers, and once he got wind of irregularities in the procurement process, he called on the Gauteng Risk Audit to look into the matter.

IOL

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