Gauteng Health MEC denies involvement in PPE procurement corruption

Gauteng Health MEC denies involvement in PPE procurement corruption
Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku listens to a medical briefing at the Nasrec Quarantine and Isolation Centre. (Photo: Chris Collingridge)

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku denied claims in reports on Sunday that he was involved in influencing irregular Covid-19-related procurement processes.

Sunday Independent reported that Masuku and his wife, Loyiso Lugayeni-Masuku, were linked to a R125 million personal protective equipment (PPE) contract that was allegedly awarded to disputed AmaBhaca king, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko.

This was one of the transactions reportedly flagged in an audit conducted by the provincial treasury into the spending of R2 billion on PPE by the Gauteng health department.

The publication did not name any official source confirming the allegation and did not elicit a response from Masuku, who reportedly referred all enquiries to departmental spokesperson Kwara Kekana.

Diko is married to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko. Diko and her husband maintain the money was never paid to his company and the contract was never finalised, Sunday Times reported.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which is part of a law enforcement team investigating the awarding of Covid-19 tenders by the Gauteng health department, told Sunday Times its investigators had uncovered 90 companies involved in questionable PPE contracts in Gauteng.

Almost all are owned by politically connected individuals.

Prices had reportedly been grossly inflated, above National Treasury price guidelines put in place to prevent unjustified price hikes.

But on Monday, Masuku denied involvement and said the allegation was “false and without any foundation”.

Setting the record straight

“I value my reputation, that of the department and the Gauteng provincial government and, as such, I am obliged to set the record straight,” Masuku said in a statement.

The MEC said following the emergency procurement processes undertaken since Ramaphosa’s declaration of the national state of disaster by in mid-March 2020, he requested that the administration of the department must observe good governance.

“I formally requested a forensic audit into Covid-19 procurement and… [Gauteng] Premier [David Makhura] subsequently requested the 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.

“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,” Masuku said.

The MEC said that, as a member of the executive council, he was not involved in, nor did he influence the department’s procurement processes.

The processes of awarding contracts within the department rests entirely with the supply chain management function in finance, Masuku stated.

“Throughout my career, I have always acted with utmost integrity and conviction. I strongly refute any suggestion that Covid-19 procurement is being used as a means to raise funds ahead of ANC conferences.

“As MEC for Health in Gauteng, I remain committed to ensuring that our comprehensive health response is focused on saving lives. I will do everything in my power to ensure that anyone found to be stealing money meant for Covid-19 relief [is] identified and brought to book,” Masuku said.



"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.