Presidency spokesperson's husband not a recognised king - Eastern Cape govt

Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko. (GCIS)
Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko. (GCIS)
  • Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko is not a recognised king, the Eastern Cape government said. 
  • This is after Diko called himself a king during interviews on Thursday. 
  • The Eastern Cape government said Diko was a chief of two villages in the province.

Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko is not a recognised king, the Eastern Cape government sought to clarify after the chief and his wife, Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, put out a statement claiming to be the king and queen of the amaBhaca. 

Cogta spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam said the Eastern Cape government only recognised seven kingdoms. 

"There is no kingdom of the amaBhaca. What we know is that he is the reigning chief of amaBhaca who has subjects in two villages. He is currently not active in his duties," Ngam added, saying Diko's position was being held by a regent. 

Diko was at pains on Thursday explaining his role in a tender scandal that led to the ANC in Gauteng placing Health MEC Bandile Masuku and City of Johannesburg MMC Loyiso Masuku on a leave of absence.

On Monday, Khusela took leave from her government roles.

READ | The Dikos speak out amid PPE tender allegations

The three have been embroiled in a media scandal over the Gauteng Department of Health awarding a R124 million tender to Royal Bacha Projects.

Tender

Diko justified the now cancelled tender, saying he had a responsibility to support the rural community where he came from. 

"I have a responsibility to support the rural community that I come from and one of those objectives is to make sure that you raise resources so that you can support that community.

"That was one of the objectives. That my wife is in the Presidency I did not consider that but later on I decided that maybe it is best to pull out".

Speaking to the SABC, he said the tender was cancelled based on reflection there could be a perceived conflict of interest. 

Diko said he delivered on the tender, however, there was no public money paid to Royal Bhaca. This appears to be disputed by the provincial government.

READ | Gauteng health MEC takes special leave amid PPE corruption allegations

He added the objectives of his business were to ensure traditional leaders were able to support their communities. 

Diko said he did not receive an allowance from the state, adding he did not regret bidding for the contract. 

"Yes, I am the king of AmaBhaca".

On Thursday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the allegations were damaging to the work done by Masuku because he had led the province's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I must say that I am disappointed, at this point. I am really, really disappointed to have an MEC, who has been leading from the front very well, facing allegations that I can't ignore," he added.

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