Khusela Diko and Loyiso Masuku
Khusela Diko and Loyiso Masuku

ANC’s handling of Masuku-Diko PPE saga shows how corruption blurs state and party lines

By Opinion Time of article published Sep 20, 2020

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By Sipho Mabaso

The ANC Gauteng reaction to PPE metonymic corruption proves a blurring of party and state.

It happened on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Two press conferences, one in the morning by the ANC Gauteng, and the other in the afternoon by the premier of the ANC-controlled Gauteng provincial government, to express one decision: the suspension - labelled “leave of absence” - of three ANC deployees to state institutions for up to a month, due to suspected corrupt practices, following reports by Sunday Independent on the probable manipulation of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply contracts to inappropriately benefit themselves and their close relations.

Sunday, September 20, 2020, we await, still, the release of the ANC Gauteng Provincial Integrity Commission report of sanction on the three suspended ANC deployees: Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife and City of Joburg official Loyiso Masuku, and her friend Khusela Diko, the spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa - for now.

Khusela Diko
Khusela Diko and Loyiso Masuku
Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku got caught out and are being investigated for their roles in an alleged irregular PPE tender worth R125 million. File Picture

The Masuku-Diko troika may likely recall, baulkingly, September 2020 as the spring of many winters, a time they would rather forget - or the ANC, an unsurprising own goal.

The main cause of corruption is the blur of the lines between the party and the state. The two press conferences confirmed this indistinction.

Because the allegations of malversation and cronyism relate specifically to possible malpractice by the troika in their respective capacities as government officials, the state president, the premier of Gauteng and the mayor of Joburg are the appropriate public officers who had any business hosting press conferences on this saga to announce the suspension of the troika.

Nevertheless, we first heard of the suspension from the ANC Gauteng, the party. The Gauteng provincial government media briefing only occurred later, as a rubber stamp.

While the sequence of the press conferences was meant to prove the ANC is earnest about uprooting endemic malfeasance within its ranks, what it really confirmed was the indistinction of the state from the party, hence, the corruption.

Since the last two decades, an unrelenting omnibus of political graft scandals has persisted because the ANC has failed to separate, distinctly, the party, from the state, and thus, tendered ample opportunity for its deployees to loot state resources, which proved that corruption is likely the real frontispiece of its rule book.

The decision to suspend the Masuku-Diko troika should have been communicated exclusively by their employers, namely, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, and Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo, not the ANC Gauteng.

With reference to the Masukus and Diko, the ANC Gauteng secretary-general Jacob Khawe, the first to announce the stopgap deterrent, indicated that the provincial political party structure applied a uniform sanction that the Masukus, similar to Diko, should take leave of absence from their jobs for up to a month.

Was the troika employed directly by the ANC? No. Herein lies the main reason for rampant corruption.

When public resources earmarked to enable the state to fulfil its mandate to citizens are divvied up among persons of high connection within the ANC, through stratagems such as overpricing, cronyism, nepotism and downright banditry, an increasingly ignescent populace must take decisive abstergent action: heed Mandela’s advice on what to do, if and when the ANC does what the NP did. '

A putsch, no. We develop a new kind of citizen: The Thinking Citizen.

Mabaso is a freelance journalist

The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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