Khusela Diko and her husband, Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko. Picture: Instagram/ @khuselas

THANDISIZWE Diko, the chief of the Bhaca people in the Eastern Cape and husband of suspended Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, has died after a short illness in East London.

Diko’s death was confirmed to the public on Monday morning by family spokesperson, Lumko Mtimde.

Diko was 43 years old.

“It is with great sadness that KwaBhaca Great Kingdom announces the untimely passing of our King, His Majesty Madzikane II Diko,” said Mtimde.

“INgonyama Madzikane II Diko passed away in the afternoon of Sunday, 21 February 2021 in East London following short illness. ISizwe samaBhaca and the Royal family are still coming to terms with this shocking and painful loss of our beloved father, son and husband, and will make further announcements once the Kingdom has finalised the arrangements for the burial.”

He added: “We are humbled by the outpouring of support and grief since the news of His Majesty’s passing first became known. We thank you for keeping the family and iSizwe samaBhaca in your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.”

The Diko couple hit the headlines last year when they were both implicated in the scandal around the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Gauteng. 

The late chief’s company was awarded R125 million tender, but the transaction was later reversed after issues of conflict of interest were raised.

This resulted in President Cyril Ramphosa placing Diko on special leave.

Diko took special leave but she and her husband denied breaking any laws.

The PPE scandal also cost Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku his job.

The contract was among 90 Gauteng government tenders being investigated by a nine-institution unit headed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

(Source: Inside Politics)

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