Dodgy Gauteng Covid-19 tenders: We want the money back, Makhura warns corrupt officials

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Gauteng Premier David Makhura
Gauteng Premier David Makhura
PHOTO: Rosetta Msimango/City Press
  • Gauteng Premier David Makhura says his department wants to recover money paid to corrupt PPE providers.
  • Makhura said two senior department officials were suspended on Wednesday and will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings.
  • He added that the number of implicated companies had grown to 61.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday vowed that action would be taken against every corrupt official involved in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as those who allowed it to happen.

Makhura on Wednesday placed the head of the provincial health department, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, on precautionary suspension with immediate effect.

Makhura's office said he was acting on the recommendations of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), following the presentation of an update report on 22 September 2020.

On Thursday, the premier reiterated that the SIU's recommendations would be acted on.

"I want to make sure we hold everybody accountable for the wrong that has happened. We've got to tackle this decisively and rise to the occasion."

Makhura said, in addition to Lukhele, another senior official was implicated in the SIU's latest report. The person was a deputy director-general in the health department and had also been suspended, albeit by the accounting officer and not himself, Makhura said.

"The report identified things they must be held accountable for and a disciplinary process is under way," the premier said.

He added that the number of companies implicated in irregularities had grown to 61.

"We want to send a strong message out there that corruption doesn't pay. We want to recover the money. Where people have been appointed irregularly, those who did so, must be held to account."

No mercy

Earlier this month, Makhura said he had "no mercy for any government official found to be doing wrong", as he sought to reassure the Gauteng legislature that he was going to take tough action on corruption.

Makhura's words came in the wake of his administration being rocked by allegations of corruption surrounding the awarding of Covid-19 PPE contracts in its health department.

Most notable was the alleged R125 million irregular contract awarded to Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of ANC provincial executive committee member and President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko.

It also emerged that there were links between Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso who sat at the Johannesburg council. The three were asked to take special leave.


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