Makhura, Masuku to meet with ANC Gauteng over Covid-19 corruption claims


Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe will on Monday meet with the province's Premier David Makhura and health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku following allegations of widespread corruption at the health department.

Makhura is also the provincial chairperson of the party.

Its spokesperson Bones Modise told News24 the ANC wanted to find out from its own deployees what really happened.

Over the past two weekends, the Sunday Independent reported on the awarding of a personal protective equipment contract of R125 million to Amabhaca King, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, who is the spouse of the president's spokesperson Khusela Diko, who also sits on the ANC's provincial executive committee.

The newspaper also makes a link between the Diko family and Masuku, through his wife Loyiso, who serves as member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for group corporate and shared services at the City of Johannesburg.

"The provincial secretary is meeting with the premier and Masuku to get their side of the story and to get an update on processes undertaken to address the issue," said Modise.

He told News24 that from the meeting, an approach would be developed and presented to office bearers at their usual Monday meeting who would then determine if an urgent provincial executive committee meeting was warranted.

"The ANC doesn't want to communicate for the sake of communicating, we want to communicate processes and the way forward," said Modise on the matter.

He added that while the meeting was with deployees to provincial government, there was a strong likelihood that the MMC would also be called in.

Modise told News24 a specialised investigative unit report, which was handed to the premier last week, could also form part of the meeting.

Masuku, in a statement on Sunday evening, sought to "clear his name", saying he was not involved in the procurement processes of the department, calling the claims "false and without any foundation".

Masuku also said he had requested an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the claims last week, calling for action to be taken if any evidence of corruption was found within his department.

Meanwhile, SIU investigators were said to be meeting with Makhura on Monday to discuss an update report submitted to his office on Friday.

Makhura had requested the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption around the procurement of personal protective equipment in June.

The SIU then seconded a team to the Gauteng government and began their investigation on 4 June.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed that the investigation flagged up to 90 companies and would not say if Royal Bhaca was part of that probe.

He confirmed that Makhura was given an update.

"Now that the president signed a proclamation, that secondment will lapse and the allegations of corruption in the Gauteng health department will be part of the broader investigation," he said.

Kganyago said the details of the meeting between the SIU and Makhura are private.

Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the SIU would investigate any unlawful or improper conduct in the procurement of any goods, works and services during or related to the national state of disaster in any state institution.

"This empowers the SIU to probe any allegations relating to the misuse of Covid-19 funds across all spheres of the state. If the SIU finds evidence that a criminal offence has been committed, it is obliged to refer such evidence to the prosecuting authority.

"It is also empowered to institute civil proceedings for the recovery of any damages or losses incurred by the state. To ensure that action is taken speedily, I will be getting interim reports on investigations every six weeks," he said.

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