PEC must probe Makhura’s fitness to hold office, says ANCYL

PEC must probe Makhura’s fitness to hold office, says ANCYL

The ANC Youth League in Gauteng is calling for an investigation into David Makhura’s fitness to hold office as Gauteng premier.

The youth league says several scandals happened under his watch since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The young lions have called on the governing party’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) to probe the premier.

“It is for this reason that the ANCYL calls on Premier David Makhura to avail himself to appear before the ANC Provincial Integrity Committee and account for his failure to facilitate oversight and prevent this outrageous looting of state resources.

“The ANCYL further calls on the ANC in the Province to investigate the involvement of our deployed Cadres in this COVID-19-related corruption scandal throughout Gauteng Provincial Government,” Says ANCYL in a statement.

“Finally the ANCYL in Gauteng calls on the ANC PEC to initiate a process that will investigate the Premier’s fitness to hold office given the mortifying scandals taking place under his watch.”

Dr Bandile Masuku was axed in October last year after been implicated in the PPE scandal.

An interim report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) concluded that Masuku failed to exercise his executive powers into the compliance of the contracts.

‘Lesufi must also account’

The Youth league says Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi must also be held accountable for his department’s R431 million spending on COVID-19 services.

“The ANCYL in Gauteng appreciates the call made by MEC Panyaza Lesufi to investigate the expenditure of R430 million on ‘deep cleaning’ and ‘decontamination’ of public schools.

“We simply cannot accept his “shock” on this matter and therefore call upon Premier David Makhura to hold MEC Panyaza Lesufi accountable for the alleged wasteful and exorbitant spending at the Department.”

Teacher unions have slammed the department’s spending, saying the money should have been spent on money could have been used towards the securing of vaccines for teachers, and procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for learners.

Renewed calls for Makhura to step aside amid PPE probe

Renewed calls for Makhura to step aside amid PPE probe

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on Premier David Makhura to take a special leave pending the outcome of the Special Investigating Unit’s COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) probe.

The calls comes after news emerged that former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya, had implicated Makhura in the scandal.

In her affidavit at the special tribunal, Lehloenya stated that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province.

“The DA is not surprised to learn that Premier Makhura has been implicated in the awarding of the multi-million personal protective equipment (PPEs) tenders. This PPE corruption scandal happened under Makhura’s watch and he did not do anything to prevent it. The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask the SIU to urgently investigate these allegations levelled against the Gauteng Premier,” says the DA’s Gauteng leader, Solly Msimanga.

The Economic Freedom Fighters in the province has on the other hand called for Mkhura to resign over the matter, while the Cosatu affiliated nurses’ union, DENOSA, has urged him to take special leave.

In October, DENOSA Gauteng chairperson, Simphiwe Gada, said the union would work with Makhura once the SIU’s investigation is complete and his name is cleared.

The union says the Premier has a tendency of escaping accountability.

It has cited the Life Esidimeni tragedy, which claimed the lives of 143 psychiatric patients after the Gauteng health department moved at least 1 700 patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs and state facilities in 2016.

Masuku, Diko to face ANC Gauteng DC

Masuku, Diko to face ANC Gauteng DC

The ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) wants former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko disciplined.

“The PEC further decided that comrade Bandile and comrade Khusela should step aside from organisational activities pending the finalisation of the DC process,” the party’s provincial treasurer Parks Tau told the media on Thursday.

The pair has also been suspended from taking part in organisational matters until the disciplinary process is wrapped up.

Masuku, his wife Loyiso who works for the Mayor’s office in the City of Johannesburg and Diko are embroiled in an alleged Personal Protective Equipment procurement scandal.

It relates to the R124 million PPE contract Diko’s husband secured at Gauteng Health, while Masuku was still the MEC. The couples are close friends and have denied collusion.

Diko has taken a leave of absence until investigations into the matter a completed.

Masuku was recently sacked as Gauteng MEC after the Special Investigating Unit’s preliminary report on the scandal found him guilty of failing to execute his functions – thus violating the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Masuku is challenging those findings. Despite this, however, his Gauteng comrades want him replaced urgently.

The ANC Gauteng PEC has urged Premier David Makhura to find a replacement for the former MEC and stabilise the provincial health department that has been rocked by high profile resignations recently amid the PPE corruption allegations.

Masuku’s wife has meanwhile been given the greenlight to return to work. The PEC says it has found allegations against her to be unsubstantiated.

Thursday’s Gauteng ANC PEC’s briefing followed a two-day special virtual meeting, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another matter that dominated talks at the meeting, was the VBS scandal.

The PEC’s Deputy Secretary-General, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, said the PEC will pronounce its decision on the matter once an appeal that is before the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is complete.

Chairperson of Parliament Communications Portfolio Committee, Boyce Maneli, and Merafong Mayor Maphefo Letsie-Mogale have lodged the appeal with the NEC.

They are contesting the PEC’s resolve that they resign over their alleged failure to act against officials involved in the VBS saga.

Renewed calls for Makhura to step aside amid PPE probe

DENOSA asks Makhura to temporarily step down

DENOSA provincial chairperson Simphiwe Gada says the union is prepared to work with Makhura once the probe is completed.

The union also blasted the Premier for perceived indecisiveness on the matter against sacked Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Bandile Masuku.

Makhura fired the political appointee on Friday after a Special Investigating Unit preliminary report found him to have failed to execute his oversight duties, thus violating the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). 

While praising Masuku for his work while still at the helm of Gauteng Health, the union expressed unhappiness with the Premier’s assertion that he will reinstate Masuku should he be found not to have engaged in any corruption during the PPE procurement process.

The matter is still being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

“If you want to be liked you must sell sweets. The Premier must decide whether to fire or hire. He needs to be clear on that.” 

Gada says the union will write to Makhura soon, outlining its position.

He addressed the media after the union’s special Provincial Executive (PEC) meeting held this weekend.

Makhura is yet to respond to Denosa’s call.

Masuku heads to court for review of damning SIU report

Masuku heads to court for review of damning SIU report

Fired Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku will challenge a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report that got him sacked in court.

In a statement, Masuku says he has already instructed his lawyers to apply for the report’s review.

Earlier on Friday, Premier David Makhura said the report found the medic to have violated the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

The findings relate to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the Gauteng Health Department.

Masuku, however, insists that he is innocent, rejecting the report as one like a smoking gun in a movie with smoke and mirrors.

“The SUI report makes incorrect and non-factual findings about my role as Executive Authority. It is unclear whether the report is final. To this I have written to the Premier to explain to him that in fact and in law, I will be exercising my rights in law to review findings in a court of law to set them aside,” the former MEC says.

He believes the SIU made the findings due to public pressure from the public outcry over PPE corruption and the need to ensure accountability.

EFF welcomes Masuku’s sacking

The Gauteng leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters has welcomed Makhura’s decision.

The party is urging Premier Makhura to also fire Masuku from the provincial legislature, saying all those found guilty of graft at Gauteng health should be dismissed with immediate effect and face the full might of the law.

The EFF says it has opened a criminal case against Masuku and his wife, Loyiso.

Masuku’s wife is City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Group and Shared Services. She is on special leave over allegedly influencing the awarding of a multi-million rand PPE contract to the Royal Bhaca Projects, a company owned by Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, Madzikizela II Thandisizwe Diko.

A forensic probe said to have been commissioned by Gauteng Health has, however, absolved the Masukus of any wrongdoing.

It was, however, scathing against Diko’s husband, saying “if a negative conclusion was to be drawn, in respect to the Diko/Masuku friendship, it should be against Mr Diko who appears not to have been receptive to the notion that he was conflicted to do business with Gauteng Health, as a result of his marriage to an old friend of Mrs and Dr Masuku. Mrs Diko would also have been wise to alert her friend, that her husband was involved in supplying PPE to GDoH.”

Gauteng Health MEC fired

Gauteng Health MEC fired

Dr Bandile Masuku has been fired as the Gauteng Health MEC.

The move follows a report from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which found Masuku to have failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Premier David Makhura made the announcement on Friday, during a Gauteng Provincial Command Council briefing on COVID-19.

Makhura says while Masuku has done a sterling job since taking office in May 2019, the facts before him have necessitated his decision.

The investigation into alleged Personal Protective Equipment corruption in the province is, however, continuing.  

Makhura says he won’t fill Masuku’s post until the probe is completed as he wants to know whether the fired MEC was involved in acts of collusion or corruption.

The Premier says he will reinstate Masuku should he be cleared of wrongdoing.

He has also expressed hope for the probe to be completed soon.

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo will continue to act in Masuku’s post until the SIU’s final report is released.

Masuku was placed on special leave in July following suspicions of impropriety against him after it emerged that the company of President’s Spokesperson, Khusela Diko, had been awarded a R125 million PPE contract.

The Dikos are friends with the Masukus. The former Health MEC and the President’s Spokesperson also serve together in the ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

Diko, Masuku and his wife – Loyiso who works in the Johannesburg Mayor’s office, have all denied any wrongdoing in the matter.