DA, EFF call for action on alleged tender corruption involving Diko's husband

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A selection of PPE gear.
A selection of PPE gear.
Karwai Tang/WireImage
  • The DA and EFF have condemned the looting of Covid-19 funds.
  • This after reports emerged of alleged corruption in a tender involving Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko's husband. 
  • Both parties have called for an SIU investigation.  

Two of the country's biggest opposition parties, the DA and EFF, have called for an investigation into the R124 million tender involving the husband of Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko. 

In their individual statements on Monday, both parties called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action. 

DA MP Siviwe Gwarube said she would be writing to Ramaphosa for all Covid-19 service contracts, which were awarded by the Gauteng Department of Health, to be included in the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) proclamation he announced during his last address to the nation.

"There are many other companies and organisations which have inappropriately and illegally gained millions from this crisis which must be investigated. This is why all contracts awarded by the Gauteng Department of Health must be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

"Only the president can direct the SIU on key areas of focus for their investigation. Considering his commitment to combating corruption associated with this pandemic, he should not hesitate to place all these contracts under the spotlight," she added. 

This after the Sunday Independent reported on the awarding of a personal protective equipment (PPE) contract of R125 million to the Amabhaca king, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, who is the spouse of the president's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, who also sits on the ANC's provincial executive committee.

This was one of the transactions reportedly flagged in an audit conducted by the provincial treasury into the spending of R2 billion on PPE by the Gauteng health department.

READ | Gauteng Health MEC denies involvement in PPE procurement corruption

The newspaper also makes a link between the Diko family and Masuku through his wife Loyiso who serves as member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for group corporate and shared services at the City of Johannesburg.

"The issue of Gauteng contracts goes far beyond what has been reported. There are plenty of other companies with similar ties to politicians which must be investigated.

"It is clear that despite the fact that legislation is unambiguous about members of the executive being involved in the procurement processes of their departments, there are companies connected to them and their family members being awarded contracts under the veil of secrecy," Gwarube said.

EFF spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya said the party was disgusted by the apparent conflict of interest that resulted in the awarding of the tender. 

"The EFF condemns this blatant conflict of interest which sees the kin of government officials profiting from a global pandemic. We have long argued that the tender system in South Africa is a method used to loot state coffers by exploitative companies and the only way to avoid this is to build state capacity to manufacture goods and provide services.

"We call for an investigation into the tender process which saw the husband of Khusela Diko profiting from the Gauteng health department's need for PPE.

"It cannot be that Diko was awarded a tender swiftly after the announcement of the national lockdown and no undue influence was gained as a result of his proximity to the Presidency," Ngwenya added. 

The SIU's Kaizer Kganyago said it was investigating the irregular awarding of PPE contracts in the Gauteng Department of Health after Premier David Makhura requested the investigation in May. 

He added Ramaphosa's proclamation would open up the investigation to involve accusations of corruption in all government departments. 

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