GAUTENG Health MEC Bandile Masuku has rejected allegations that he has influenced the awarding of a multi-million rand tender for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to his close friends and political allies.
This comes after calls for government to investigate a R125 million tender for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Gauteng Health Department.
Last week, the Sunday Independent reported how a R124 million tender was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects – owned by Amabaca King Madzikazi II Thandisizwe who is the husband of Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko.
Reports suggest that the company was established last year January and had no track record of supplying of PPE.
Other reports say the Diko family has close ties with the wife of Gauteng health MEC’s Loyiso Masuku, who is also a councillor in Johannesburg.
Diko is also a member of the African National Congress (ANC) provincial executive committee.
Masuku said these media reports implying that he was involved in procurement processes in the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) were ‘false’ and ‘without any foundation’.
“As a Member of the Executive Council, I am not involved in, nor do I influence the Department’s procurement processes,” said Masuku.
“The processes of awarding contracts within the department rests entirely with the Supply Chain Management function in Finance.”
Masuku also refuted claims that COVID-19 procurement is being used as a means to raise funds ahead of ANC conferences in Gauteng.
Masuku said that a media statement issued by his office on Friday, 24 July 2020 confirms that he is the one who formally requested a forensic audit into COVID-19 procurement and that the Premier subsequently requested the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to undertake this investigation.
“The SIU investigation commenced in May 2020 and the Premier’s office will announce the findings as soon as they become available,” said Masuku.
“As the originator of the process, I wholly support the SIU’s investigation. If evidence of corruption is found at the Gauteng Department of Health, action will be taken, and offenders prosecuted. Those found guilty of fraud and/or the misappropriation of funds at the Department, will face the full might of the law.”
(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)