- The ANC Gauteng PEC was expected to deliberate over the fate of health MEC Bandile Masuku, his wife Loyiso Masuku and Khusela Diko.
- This as it received a report from the provincial integrity commission into their respective roles in the Gauteng health PPE saga.
- Some in the PEC say the meeting has been postponed several times as leaders linked to the three have been lobbying for their political survival.
The Gauteng ANC’s integrity commission is said to have made scathing findings against Health MEC Bandile Masuku and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko over the procurement of personal protective equipment scandal.
But News24 understands there is fierce lobbying behind the scenes to save the political futures of the two, and that this has led to the PEC meeting being postponed at least three times.
The meeting that was expected to take place on Monday afternoon following a provincial working committee meeting has been postponed.
“Masuku was found to have failed to adhere to the standards that the ANC demands of public representatives. He has done a disservice to the responsibility given to him by the party,” a PEC member told News24.
This insider said Masuku was found to not have acted timeously in dealing with concerns around procurement processes at his department. He had also failed to manage public perceptions around the issue of conflict of interest over the nature of the relationship he and his wife, Loyiso, had with the Dikos.
It’s also understood the commission felt Masuku should have practised better oversight and been closer to the procurement processes, in light of how widespread corruption is in the country, and given the fact that his department had just received a large cash injection to procure resources for managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Masuku is said to to be in the clear of manifest wrongdoing in relation to accusations of corruption.
Another insider told News24 that Sunday’s postponement had happened an hour before the PEC was scheduled to meet.
“There wasn’t even a reason provided and now they don’t want to hold this meeting virtually because that would mean not reading the integrity report, but mailing it to us,” said a PEC member to News24 anonymously.
Last week, provincial secretary Jacob Khawe told News24 that the integrity commission’s report was ready. He said one of the scheduled PEC meetings was postponed due to provincial chairperson David Makhura having to attend a national executive committee meeting on local government.
Diko, the health MEC and his wife Loyiso Masuku, who is the group corporate and shared services MMC in the City of Johannesburg, were hauled before the integrity commission following reports of the awarding of a multimillion-rand tender to provide PPEs by Gauteng health to Diko’s husband Chief Madzikane Diko.
‘This is far worse’
While they have pleaded innocent, the PEC had ordered the Masukus to take a leave of absence and for the three to appear before the integrity commission.
News24 revealed in July that the MMC and the chief were business partners, after taking over a shell company in 2019.
Another PEC member, who also asked not to be named, said the integrity commission report had left Makhura no other option but to fire one of his most trusted allies.
“There is no way we won’t adopt the report. If Boyce Maneli had to resign from Parliament for not acting against officials… this is far worse. The integrity commission once found against Faith (Mazibuko) for talking about combi courts,” the third insider said.
He said that that the PEC was expected to hear fierce argument that Makhura should first fire Masuku from his executive and that then there would be discussions over whether he should be removed from the PEC.
“If we have to ignore this report then we may as well kiss Gauteng goodbye. There is no way we will win an election if we don’t hold these people accountable,” the source said.
Diko took a leave of absence in the face of growing outcry over her husband’s dealings with provincial government.
Another source said they understood that the integrity commission report was also scathing of Diko.
ANC provincial spokesperson Bones Modise said the PEC had made a commitment that any decisions taken and in the interest of Gauteng residents would be communicated via a media briefing.
“So once the integrity commission has finalised its report and has been presented to the PEC for consideration and finalisation, that will be communicated,” he said.
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