Gauteng Premier David Makhura 'discharges' embattled Health MEC Bandile Masuku

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku.
(Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has decided to remove embattled Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

Makhura met with the ANC's top leadership in Gauteng on Friday morning to communicate his decision.

READ | PPE scandal: Makhura considering SIU's findings on Masuku

Masuku is expected to be redeployed to the Gauteng legislature, a source told News24.

Two sources close to the matter said Makhura was "left without a choice" and had to take action against Masuku, given the allegations of impropriety against him.

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) update report put the blame for a personal protection equipment (PPE) scandal at Masuku's door.

EXPLAINER | What are the allegations against Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku?

Masuku, his wife, Loyiso, and presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko were put on leave following reports of tender corruption at the Gauteng health department.

Masuku's wife is also an MMC at the City of Johannesburg.

It was reported that Diko's husband, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, had been awarded a R125 million tender to supply PPE to the department, News24 previously reported.

Speaking at a Gauteng Command Council update briefing on Friday, Makhura told reporters that he had put Masuku on special leave, pending the outcome of the findings of the SIU report.

"I today therefore report to the people of Gauteng, on the findings of the SIU, their recommendations and therefore the decision that I would have taken coming from that. The SIU has found that the Health MEC, Dr Bandile Masuku, has failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the PFMA.

"Based on the SIU's findings and recommendation thereof, the course of administrative action I'm taking is to discharge Dr Bandile from his responsibilities as the MEC of Health in Gauteng."

Makhura said he hoped the investigation would be concluded and the facts established.

"I want the facts about whether the MEC was involved in acts of corruption or collusion. It is a matter of grave concern relating to clean governance."

He said he was cognisant of Masuku's contribution's to improving the health department since his appointment in May 2019 as well as his leadership during Gauteng's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Makhura said this was "undisputable".

"I have further decided that I will only appoint the new MEC for Health once the SIU has reached finality on its investigation into allegations of corruption and collusion. I will gladly reappoint him [Masuku] should the SIU investigation clear him of any wrongdoing," Makhura concluded.

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