READ: Statement by King Madzikane II and Khusela Diko on corruption allegations
Presidency spoken Khusela Diko and her husband, amaBhaca King Madzikane II released a statement following public outrage over the alleged irregular awarding of PPE tender by the Gauteng dept of Health.
Statement by King Madzikane II and Khusela Diko.
Over the last week, as individuals, a couple and a family, we have found ourselves at the centre of a media and public storm over a Gauteng Health Department Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply contract that was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects and subsequently cancelled.
Despite the absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid to Royal Bhaca Projects – details of which will be further ventilated by the investigations – the matter continues to draw outrage from across society.
iNdlovukazi Khusela Diko – unprompted and of her own volition – sought a leave of absence from the Presidency in respect of the office she served, to allow the work of the President to proceed unhindered, pending the finalisation of the relevant probes.
We acknowledge with humility the anger and outrage expressed by South Africans. For more than a decade, South Africa has suffered due to state capture. As the evidence presented to the Zondo Commission on State Capture has shown, there is a correlation between political office and influence, and private enterprise that unlawfully benefits from State coffers. Corruption has undermined the capacity of the State to deliver essential services and has stolen from the poor. It is, therefore, vital that the media and the public remain diligent in the fight against corruption, which we wholly support.
Although there was no corruption in the bidding and subsequent awarding of the PPE contract to Royal Bhaca Projects, we accept that years of cronyism have created an environment of mistrust and suspicion when individuals, who are close to political office and influence, are seen to be benefiting from the State in ways that may be unethical.
We have attempted to rectify this matter by seeking to cancel the contract, and we deeply regret the error of judgement that led Royal Bhaca to seek to do business with this Department in the first place.
We support the measures that government has put in place to investigate and prosecute all instances of the misuse of funds related to the response to COVID-19.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MASUKU FAMILY
The ties between the Diko and Masuku families predate the public office positions that are occupied by the respective members of both families. We have never hidden the relationship, as evidenced by various social media posts that have been referenced by the media. These family ties have been based on mutual respect and values that we uphold.
Over the years, prior to any of us acceding to public office and positions, some members of our families contemplated several business partnerships due to our strong bonds and aspirations in various endeavors including agriculture and community healthcare amongst others. However, those plans never materialised. Residual evidence of entities that were registered for such a purpose show that no trade was ever undertaken through those companies.
In the current atmosphere, we accept that such a history between our families will raise suspicion and concern. We reiterate and emphasise that at no point did we discuss the extension of our family ties to benefits that will accrue from public sector procurement.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS OF KING MADZIKANE II DIKO
Until recently, I was the Chief Executive Officer of Alfred Nzo Development Agency (ANDA), an entity of the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Prior to that, I served on the Board as Deputy Chairperson. I have also served as Board member of Ingwe TVET College amongst other positions I have held. I have a Master’s degree in Development Communication from the University of Pretoria and a Certificate in Municipal Finance from Wits University.
I have more than 19 years of work experience, of which over ten have been in senior management at different institutions including national government.
I believe that this experience I have developed as well as the knowledge and skills I have accumulated were considered valuable in my appointment to the Board of Sentech. Sentech is mandated to distribute communications infrastructure to provide access to communication services in all areas, including the furthest and most remote places in South Africa. These are the communities that I serve.
Similarly, CATHSSETA facilitates skills development in culture, arts, tourism and sports – areas which should be the bedrock of development in South Africa’s impoverished areas. I adhered to the application processes for consideration for appointment to these boards, and I believe I have the requisite skills to provide valuable counsel and guidance.
The above considerations were also the reasons I applied to be a member of the Board of City of Joburg entities, specifically the Joburg Market, as I had the hope that those skills could assist me in delivering a more developmental approach to indigenous leadership. It has always been my desire to represent and contribute the perspective of rural communities to the organisations I have had the privilege of serving.
I fully reject the assertion that these appointments, which I earned after due process, were the result of unwarranted political influence.
However, in the interests of ethical leadership and accountability and following the example set by iNdlovukazi Khusela Diko, I will resign as an Independent Audit Committee member of the Joburg Market as this appointment itself has now become mired in controversy. This is to save the Market and the City from any further undue public scrutiny.
ROYAL BHACA PROJECTS
The question has been raised why I have pursued private business when I receive an allowance from the State. This is a misconception which I must correct. I do NOT receive any allowance from the State. That is why I have endeavoured to attain entrepreneurial experience and engage in business enterprises that will benefit my family and the community I serve, which remains largely poor and socially- and economically marginalised.
I deeply regret that these efforts to earn an honest living and improve the wellbeing of my people are now mired in controversy, having not achieved its core objective. I am firmly focused on successfully leading amaBhaca and rewarding their trust in my leadership