Khusela Diko slams 'witch hunt', appeals Gauteng ANC disciplinary which ruled she must step aside

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Khusela Diko
Khusela Diko
  • Khusela Diko has filed an appeal with the party's national disciplinary committee.
  • Diko's lawyers claim there is a political witch hunt to force her to step aside.
  • The ANC's provincial disciplinary committee is undermining her rights, her lawyers claim.

Suspended presidential spokesperson and member of the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) in Gauteng, Khusela Diko, has accused the ANC's provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) of trying to force her to step aside in what she calls a political witch hunt.

This comes after a disciplinary process by the ANC in the province found her guilty of bringing the party into disrepute.

Diko has slammed the process and opted to appeal the matter to the ANC's national disciplinary structure.

In a statement released through her lawyer, Avela Nontso, Diko said they were convinced the ANC's provincial disciplinary committee undermined her right to a fair process.

She expressed concerns that details on internal ANC processes had been leaked to the media.

She said:

This type of conduct not only undermines internal processes of the ANC, but it also, without doubt, serves nefarious political ends and if left unchallenged in the media, distorted facts will be perceived to be true.

One of the findings made against her was that "Comrade Diko did not disclose her husband's business interests to the ANC PEC or any office bearer of the PEC".

The matter was related to a cancelled contract for personal protective equipment (PPE) awarded to her late husband, Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko.

READ | Former health MEC Bandile Masuku asked to step aside from ANC Gauteng position

Diko, through her lawyers, said it was not a requirement for her to reveal her husband's business interests. She said she was of the view that it wasn't necessary, as the matter was buried once the contract awarded to her late husband had been cancelled.

The PDC noted:

Whether it was a requirement or not, Comrade Diko should have disclosed her husband's business interests and what transpired to the ANC PEC, chairperson or provincial secretary (Jacob Khawe).

Diko's lawyers said the media statement prepared by the PDC stated that no evidence was produced that Diko had committed any misconduct by using her positions in the ANC or government for self-enrichment.

They said contrary to the PDC's utterances, nowhere in their decision was a rule quoted or relied upon that placed a responsibility on a member of the ANC to disclose a spouse's business interests to the PEC or provincial office bearers.

Nontso said a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report titled "Finalised Matters", released in February 2020, found Diko not guilty of engaging in any corruption, as alleged by the PEC and PDC.

The statement read:

The entire PDC hearing was predicated on a defective and incompetent charge sheet; in that it did not disclose exactly what Comrade Diko did, when and how. It was utterly vague and did not satisfy the requirements of a charge sheet and on request the ANC PEC failed to provide any further particularity on the charges despite numerous requests.

Diko's lawyers said she had been charged and sanctioned for conduct that was not in violation of any rule or policy of the ANC.

Diko said she was unaware that any government agency, whether it was the National Prosecuting Authority or the SIU, investigated her and found her guilty of unlawful conduct.

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