Africa-Press – South-Africa. Johannesburg – The Presidency has indicated that it will take disciplinary action against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko for alleged failure to disclose her financial interests to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in its probe into her alleged involvement in the PPE tender scandal.
Diko remains on special leave after her implication in Covid-19 tender corruption allegations, which saw hundreds of millions of rand of relief funds being looted.
In July last year, Diko stepped aside amid pressure after it was revealed that her husband’s company had controversially and irregularly secured a R125 million tender for the provision of personal protective equipment from the Gauteng health department. The department was led then by her family friend and close ally Dr Bandile Masuku.
Masuku, who also stepped aside after the allegations surfaced, has since been removed from the provincial cabinet by Premier David Makhura after the SIU found him to have failed in his oversight responsibility as the political head of the department.
The department was the most affected by alleged Covid-19 tender corruption. The SIU has, however, not yet found either Masuku or Diko of having been party to tender manipulation allegations.
The Presidency said on Sunday that the SIU had indicated that while it was still probing the corruption aspect, it had not found any evidence pointing to Diko’s involvement in the awarding of contracts by the department to Royal Bhaca, which is owned by her husband.
“During the investigation, the SIU did, however, identify a concern regarding Ms Diko’s duty to disclose all her financial interests,” the Presidency said.
It indicated that it had decided to initiate an internal disciplinary process against Diko on the basis of the SIU’s referral regarding the disclosure.
“The relevant processes prescribed in the Public Service Regulations and related documents will be triggered and handled by the acting director-general of the Presidency, including consideration of whether Ms Diko remains on special leave or is formally suspended pending the disciplinary process,” the Presidency said.
Acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale would continue speaking on behalf of Ramaphosa.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the unit was not able to determine when the corruption element of its probe against Diko and Masuku would be concluded.
“We are investigating the whole thing. This is just what we had given them in relation to Ms Diko. The investigation itself covers the whole issues (Covid-19 corruption), so we cannot put a time frame on it at the moment,” Kganyago said.
Both Diko and Masuku, who are members of the Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee, are facing disciplinary action from the party over the allegations against them.
Masuku is challenging the SIU report which Makhura relied to remove him from the provincial executive council.
Both Diko and Masuku could not be reached yesterday.
When asked about the stalled party disciplinary process, ANC provincial spokesperson Bones Modise could not give reasons why charges have never been laid, adding that he was on sick leave.
Provincial secretary Jacob Khawe could also not be reached for comment.