Home politics ANC forces Gauteng health MEC to go on special leave

ANC forces Gauteng health MEC to go on special leave

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The MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife has been forced to step down from their political roles while the controversial PPE contracts are probed.

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN, July 30 (ANA) – The Gauteng ANC leadership on Thursday ordered the province’s member of the executive council (MEC) for health Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso to step down from their political roles while a controversy over contracts for personal protective equipment is investigated.

ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe said this would ensure fairness after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman Khusela Diko took special leave of absence from her job over her husband winning a contract in the R125 million (US$7.5 million) tender for the health equipment.

Khawe said a meeting of the ANC’s provincial executive committee welcomed Diko’s decision to step aside, pending an investigation into the contract.

“Consistent with that the PEC felt that it is important to have one approach in dealing with one case and that we don’t have this member subjected to this condition and that member subjected to another condition, and that both Comrade Loyiso and Comrade Bandile be on temporary leave of absence for the duration of two to four weeks,” Khawe told a media briefing.

He said the time frame was tailored to the expected length of an investigation into the health material tender by South Africa’s Special Investigative Unit. At the same time the conduct of Diko, the MEC and his wife would be interrogated by the provincial integrity committee of the party.

“They are going to the integrity committee with immediate effect,” said Khawe.

Diko has called the deal “an error of judgment” while denying anything untoward, and her husband Amabacha King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko has sought to cancel it.

Loyiso Masuku, who holds an administrative position in the Johannesburg council and a key position in the ANC’s structures in the city, has been embroiled in the allegation in part through her friendship with Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman.

Khawe said ANC leaders had to be mindful at all times that whatever they did impacted on the reputation of the party.

“The objective reality is that we are losing trust amongst the people on our ability and capability and commitment to deal with corruption,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)