Former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has filed legal papers in the High Court in Pretoria.
He is seeking an urgent hearing over a Special Investigating Unit’s report that led to his sacking.
The former MEC wants the report declared unlawful and unconstitutional.
He was fired this month after he was found to have failed to execute his executive duties in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Gauteng Health.
A R124 million tender awarded to the Masukus’ family friend, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, is among the controversies that sparked the battle. Diko is also the husband of Presidential Spokesperson, Khusela Diko.
While the preliminary report had not found Masuku to have exerted his influence in the matter – investigations are still ongoing and Gauteng Premier David Makhura has promised to reinstate the former MEC should he be proven innocent.
However, Masuku is having none of this and wants his name cleared urgently. He says he has been co-operating with the investigations – both at a party and government level; took a firm stance against corruption and ordered a probe into alleged PPE procurement irregularities back in April.
Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko is meanwhile on leave while investigations continue.
The Gauteng ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) has ordered that both Masuku and Diko face a disciplinary process.
It has also suspended them from party activities pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
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.
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.
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.”