The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), disgusted at the Gauteng Department of Health's alleged hand in the awarding of PPE tenders, called for Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku's immediate removal.
Spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Khusela Diko and her husband have also been implicated in the scandal leading to Diko taking a leave of absence on Monday 27 July.
BANDILE MASUKU MUST STEP DOWN PENDING INVESTIGATION
The EFF in Gauteng said Masuku must step down pending the SIU investigations into his alleged influence into the irregular awarding of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts. According to the statement, Masuku has been accused of awarding tenders to his family friend's company AmaBhaca (Royal Bhaca Projects).
The EFF has demanded that a thorough investigation into the awarding of all PPE contracts since the beginning of the lockdown be conducted.
"It has become clear that COVID-19 has presented an opportunity for the politically connected to dispense political patronage by awarding their friends government monies meant to fight the pandemic while disregarding proper supply gain management and inflating prices above National Treasury guidelines," it said in a statement on Tuesday 28 July.
"It's not a coincidence that over 90 companies are involved in questionable PPE contracts in the Province that are linked to politically connected individuals; it is the consequence of a contract state that outsources all its functions to parasitic individuals and companies whose motive is money, and not to save lives," it added.
MEC'S CHIEF OF STAFF MUST BE INVESTIGATED REGARDING PPE TENDER
While the EFF welcomes the SIU investigations into the tenders by the Gauteng Health Department, it has also called for a comprehensive internal investigation into the alleged influence of the MEC's Chief of Staff David Maimela, who is said to have played a critical role in the awarding of the contract to Khusela Diko's husband.
"This investigation must also include the alleged restructuring of the staff in the department, especially at [the] supply chain," it said.
"We call on the MEC to immediately vacate his office to allow for the SIU investigation into Gauteng health, as well as, his chief of staff. It cannot be that a company owned by Diko's husband is awarded a tender swiftly after the announcement of the national lockdown and no undue influence was gained as a result of his proximity to the MEC," it added.
Not forgetting Gauteng Premier David Makhura, the EFF said he and his administration, particularly, the Department of Health, should respect the state resources during these trying times.