Presidency's Diko did the right thing by stepping aside - Corruption Watch
The Presidency announced on Monday evening that spokesperson Khusela Diko was taking a leave of absence following the allegations that her husband benefited from a Gauteng government tender of R125 million to provide PEE.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko is taking leave from her government duties pending the outcome of an investigation into Gauteng health tenders linked to her husband.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu announced on Monday evening that Diko was taking a leave of absence following the allegations that her husband, amaBhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe, benefited from a Gauteng government tender of R125 million to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PEE).
Diko and her husband maintain that the contract was cancelled and they never received a cent.
Tyrone Seale will act in the position of spokesperson to the president while Diko is on leave.
Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has also been drawn into the matter. But Masuku has denied any wrongdoing, saying that as an executive council member he was not involved in the provincial Department of Health’s procurement process.
In a statement, the Presidency said that Diko asked for a leave of absence because it was important that the government was not undermined or adversely affected by the allegations against her, especially while the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corruption Watch’s head of stakeholder and campaigns Kavisha Pillay said that it was the right thing to do.
“We believe that in order to conduct a fair and impartial investigation and test the veracity of the serious allegations levelled against Ms Diko and her husband, it was necessary for Ms Diko to step aside and not participate in any further government business until the probe is finalised,” Pillay said.
Pillay said that Diko’s husband was not supposed to be doing business with government in the first place.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said the tender was one of 90 COVID-19 relief tenders that they were investigating.