Diko deal rotten from the get go
The Sunday Independent Editorial Opinion
It will be triumphalist to scream: we told you so.
You will remember that over the past two weeks we pointed out the stink from the R125-million PPE tender granted by the Gauteng government to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by the husband of Khusela Diko, spokesperson of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
We did our reports by the book, granting Ms Diko ample time to either respond to our questions to her or refute them. That she resorted to playing dirty by posting our correspondence to her on Facebook is a matter between herself and her conscience.
But our kind of journalism holds that it could not have been above board for Royal Bhaca, owned by AmaBhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe, to enter into business with the government and secure the contract.
The proximity of his wife to the seat of power makes King Madzikane’s dealings with the government a matter of grave concern.
What has emerged is now a circus of trouble-shooting - from the Presidency accepting Ms Diko’s request for leave of absence to Gauteng Premier David Makhura playing a Ramaphosa on us, claiming he is disappointed at the involvement of Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and placing the latter on special leave too.
The fracas is a conflict of interest - a multimillion-rand tender awarded to the husband of the presidential spokesperson. When you add to this the names of Dr Masuku and his wife, MMC Loyiso Masuku, it becomes clear that something is amiss. The reasons we advanced for branding this an act of corruption are in the two articles we carried over the said weeks.
Makhura assumed office on an anti-corruption ticket. Paying platitudes will not be enough.
Corruption is taking food from the mouths of poor people.
The initial R500 billion Covid-19 relief package has disappeared down the pockets of grubby ANC politicians who have not thought twice about stealing even the wee food parcel.
The latest R70bn loan from the International Monetary Fund should not be allowed to go the same way.
It is sad that this thievery happened when the ANC had to pay homage to the late Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni, the last of its moral compasses in public office.
That the provincial ANC has referred the transgressions of Diko and Masuku to the local Integrity Commission is laughable, if you remember how contemptuously the national office-bearers treated the Integrity Commission that Mlangeni chaired.