Gauteng health MEC told to take 'leave of absence' as PPE scandal unfolds

30 July 2020 - 10:44 By TimesLIVE
Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku is implicated in a PPE tender scandal. File photo.
Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku is implicated in a PPE tender scandal. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russel/Sunday Times

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku has been instructed to take a leave of absence while he is being investigated in connection with the awarding of personal protective equipment (PPE) to companies linked to his friends.

The decision was taken by the ANC special provincial executive committee, which met on Wednesday night.

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Masuku, his wife Joburg MMC of group corporate Loyiso Masuku and presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko will face the party's integrity commission to answer to allegations that there were irregularities in how a company owned by Diko's husband, Royal Bhaca Projects, scored contracts worth more than R100m.

It was later announced that transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo had been appointed acting health MEC. Premier David Makhura made the announcement on Thursday after the ANC provincial executive committee ordered Masuku to take a leave of absence.

Makhura also revealed that 102 companies were under investigation over Covid-19 tenders in the province.

“My heart is sore that MEC Masuku, who has been doing such good work in helping us to respond to Covid, faces these allegations — but we can't close our eyes to it. It does raise question marks on political leaders, on government work,” said Makhura.

Makhura also expressed his disappointment at the allegations.

“These allegations have also damaged the work that the MEC for health, as the lead MEC, Dr Masuku has been doing. He has been leading our team in the province on this front very well and I must say that I am disappointed,” he said.

© TimesLIVE