The Presidency has announced that it will initiate a disciplinary process against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko, who remains on special leave after being linked to Covid-19 tender corruption allegations.
Last year, Diko took special leave after it was revealed that her husband’s company had controversially and irregularly secured a tender for the provision of personal protective equipment from the Gauteng Health Department which was then led by his family friend and close ally Bandile Masuku.
Masuku, who also voluntarily stepped aside after the allegations surfaced, has since been removed from the provincial cabinet by Premier David Makhura, after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found him to have failed in his oversight responsibility as the political head of the department, which was the most affected by the Covid-19 tender corruption allegations.
The SIU has, however, not yet found either Masuku or Diko of having been party to tender manipulation allegations.
In a statement on Sunday, the Presidency said the SIU had indicated that while it was still probing the corruption component of its probe, 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 his 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.
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.
Meanwhile, Masuku is currently challenging the SIU report on which Makhura relied to remove him from the provincial executive council.