South Africa


President Ramaphosa’s former spokesperson, Khusela Diko, in line for powerhouse promotion to deputy DG at GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa's former spokesperson Khusela Diko. (Photo: Facebook / Khusela Diko)

Khusela Diko’s previous role in the Presidency was more high-profile but less powerful. She will take over the role of acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale, who was seconded to the Union Buildings from the GCIS.

Khusela Diko is likely to return to work after her maternity leave in October to a high-powered role as a deputy director-general (DG) at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) – one of three deputy directors-general at the GCIS responsible for content.

News24 reported that Diko, who was President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson until she stepped aside in 2020 pending an investigation linked to dodgy personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts, had been cleared to return to work. Diko faced a disciplinary process in the Presidency and was given a written warning for failing to disclose business interests as is required of civil servants.

The Presidency confirmed that she would take up a position in government.  The GCIS role is a powerhouse position as it oversees all government communication and campaigns. The 500 staff at the GCIS each make, on average, R404,000 a year and the deputy DG earns about R2-million a year with allowances.

Diko’s previous role in the Presidency was more high-profile but less powerful. She will take over the role of acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale, who was seconded to the Union Buildings from the GCIS.   

Diko has maintained her innocence and blamed the failure to disclose business interests on outdated company ownership data. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that R43-million worth of PPE contracts awarded to Royal Bhaca, owned by Diko’s late husband, Chief Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko, who died in February, were irregular. The company massively inflated prices.

Royal Bhaca also received smaller subcontracts in the R150-million Digital Vibes public health communications contract, which the SIU has also found were irregularly awarded. Former health minister Zweli Mkhize stepped down from his role for this contract, and Maverick Citizen’s Mark Heywood reported on September 1 that the Department of Health’s DG, Sibusiso Buthelezi, and its deputy, DG Anban Pillay, may not be far behind because of their roles in awarding it.

Nonceba Mhlauli, the spokesperson for the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said, “I don’t know where she’s going to, but it is somewhere in government.”  DM


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All Comments 14

  • When will this government learn to be more proactive and foresee the reaction to a decision like this. This is basic PR. There must be an explanation of exactly how a person who slept in the same bed of a criminal does not know that he is a rotten king who has stolen from government and she is benefiting from the proceeds with her lifestyle. It beggars belief that Cyril can treat people with such contempt.

  • So no consequences as usual in Cyril’s ANC NEC Utopia. After a paid holiday for a year whilst on suspension this is followed by another cushy appointment in some other government department on the taxpayer’s dime.

  • We do not seem to share a common idea of what influence, bribery and corruption is and isn’t? For instance, when is it reasonable to say that a public official is not implicated by association in a spouse’s (or son’s) racketeering? What distinguishes a donation from a bribe? Is it possible to accept a gift and not be influenced? When is the informal care of the social security of family, community, party-members straight-up/downright corruption and when is it community-building? When is affirmative action restitution and when could it be called a form of corruption ? How do various forms of such influence contradict and actively undermine economic systems and democracy? Have I missed an inter-disciplinary analysis of the various forms and consequences of corruption, in the media? Wouldn’t that add to the national debate?

  • No matter how discredited the ANC is, they know the people will either not vote or vote for them anyway. Both have the same effect. The only losers are the electorate.

  • This person sat in the executive office and embarrassed the president and the nation stealing tens of millions in emergency money intended to help healthcare workers in the middle of a crisis. I am unsure what could be more despicable – perhaps stealing from on orphanage. Her reward is a DDG deployment.

    Does nothing offend the ANC?

    I give up.

  • Strike up the band because the thieving roundabout must not be allowed to stop. Cyril you are scared of your shadow how can you possibly think you can run a country. I am so thoroughly disgusted with you.

  • I always thought that all government positions had to be advertised and be accessible to all qualifying applicants. How did she get the job? Did she apply and was she selected through a fair selection process? Do we know who else were on the short-list? Deputy DG is a sought after position, some people would have worked hard for years to be able to qualify for promotion to such a position.

    Just asking.

    • In the ANC … such questions are irrelevant . One can only hope that Zondo has not been ‘taken in’ by CRs PR, and his report reflects the disgraceful lack of ethics and accountability at all levels.

  • One really should not be astounded, annoyed or angered by this actual promotion of a tainted cadre , but we cannot help our reaction. What to say? Only that either the ANC does not have any ethical stance( which we know) or that it is amoral( which we also know) Also it would appear from its tired recycling of its comrades that it’s pool of deployees is not that large. For this latest affront to the dignity of high office , Cyril Ramaphosa should take responsibility- after all, he has pleaded, at the Zondo Commission, for the retention of cadre deployment. So much for the ‘New Dawn’.

  • Hhhmm. So did CR lie to the Zondo Commissions about the ANC and government being serious about cleaning out corruption. Cash cows and rain makers are never culled, they are renamed or redeployed (to train the next new generation on how to fill anc coffers from citizens taxes)

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