PPE tender scandal: Bandile Masuku to challenge SIU findings in High Court

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Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku.
Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku.
Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • Embattled former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku is challenging the findings of the SIU against him in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
  • Masuku and presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko have found themselves in the centre of a PPE tender scandal.
  • He will also subject himself to the ANC disciplinary committee despite not being handed a charge sheet.

Embattled former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku is challenging the findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) against him in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The SIU recently placed Masuku at the centre of processes in the health department from where presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko's husband received a R125 million tender to supply personal protective equipment (PPE).

Masuku and Diko are also expected to appear before the Gauteng ANC disciplinary committee.

READ | Tight corner: Who will replace Masuku as Gauteng health MEC?


Masuku's lawyer, Mojalefa Motalane, said for a period of three months, he had endured an onslaught of unfounded allegations that have been used to tarnish his professional integrity and image, thereby violating his rights in law and denying him justice.

"To this end, our client is approaching the High Court - as an impartial arbiter - on an urgent basis to seek relief," he added.

Petition

Masuku is petitioning the High Court to rule the SIU findings unlawful, unconstitutional and therefore invalid, and for them to be set aside.

"… the SIU findings reach untruthful and unsubstantiated conclusions which are based on illogical inferences, suppositions and conjecture. The lack of a factual and or evidentiary foundation for the impugned findings heightens the injustice that our client has suffered and continues to suffer.

"The SIU's findings and remedial action are ultra vires and unconstitutional for the reasons fully set out in our client's founding papers. The findings of the SIU have the propensity to impair not only the political and professional work of our client, now and in future, but that of all other executive authorities," Motalane said.

He claimed Masuku had been co-operative with the investigations he was subjected to, saying he had also initiated and volunteered information both at a party and state level.

READ | ANC Gauteng recommends Masuku, Diko head to provincial DC over Covid-19 corruption allegations

"Our client wishes to remind the public that as part of his oversight responsibility, he initiated the investigation into alleged PPE procurement irregularities in the department on 17 April. This was approximately four weeks since the declaration of the national state of disaster.

"The SIU was invited to investigate as a result of the forensic audit that was started by our client. Notwithstanding that there were incidents of alleged PPE procurement irregularities in other provinces. Our client was the first MEC to conduct some form of investigation in the country," Motalane said.

Regarding the pending ANC disciplinary hearing, he added Masuku was ready to appear before the committee, although he had not been handed a charge sheet.

Suspension

Motalane said Masuku was suspended without formal charges being put to him.

"We have no doubt that finally, a fair and impartial court of law will find in our client's favour and grant our client the relief he seeks so that in the end justice can be done and be seen to be done."

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