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Bandile Masuku fired over Covid-19 PPE tender irregularities

PRETORIA, South Africa – Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Friday announced the firing of embattled MEC for Health Bandile Masuku.

Masuku has been on extended special leave since July 30 after allegations surfaced he facilitated the granting of multimillion-rand PPE tenders to his family friends.

“I therefore today report to the people of Gauteng on the findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and their recommendations and therefore the decision that I am taking.

“So the SIU has found that the Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act,” Makhura said in a televised address in Johannesburg.

“Based on this finding, they then recommended that the premier of the province should take administrative action against the MEC for the purpose of determining the suitability to hold office as an MEC for Health.

“With regard to the substantive public interest on the issue of whether the MEC was involved in acts of corruption or collusion, the SIU reported to me that this investigation is ongoing.”

It was alleged Masuku played a pivotal role in the awarding of a R125-million PPE tender to Royal Bhaca Projects – a company 100%-owned by Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko.

The Masukus and Dikos are family friends. Masuku’s wife Loyiso is also a business partner of Thandisizwe’s. Both families have denied the allegations.

On Friday, Makhura said he had no option but to discharge Masuku.

“Based on their (the SIU’s) findings, where they say the MEC has failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the PFMA, I have decided as the premier of Gauteng to discharge Dr Bandile Masuku from his responsibilities as the Gauteng MEC for Health. I have taken into cognisance the contribution that MEC Masuku played in improving the Department of Health since his appointment last year,” said Makhura.

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