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Hlengwa: There should be a full criminal probe into Diko, Masuku allegations

The Gauteng ANC leadership has decided that Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso, appear before the provincial integrity committee and take a leave of absence of two to four weeks.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko. Picture: @KhuselaS/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The chairperson of Parliament’s watchdog over the public purse, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said that there should be a full criminal investigation into the allegations that had engulfed presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, her husband, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife, Loyiso.

Hlengwa, who chairs the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), was speaking during a panel discussion on corruption on TV channel eNCA.

The Gauteng ANC leadership has decided that Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso, appear before the provincial integrity committee and take a leave of absence of two to four weeks.

The decision follows reports that a company linked to Diko’s husband, Bhaca king Madzikane Diko, scored a personal protective equipment (PPE) tender for R125m, which was later cancelled. The couple said that they were guilty of an "error of judgement".

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that the PPE contract linked to Bhaca King Madzikane Diko should be subjected to a "comprehensive criminal investigation or a special audit by the Auditor-General of South Africa".

"We must not view this particular transaction in isolation, it is part of a pattern."

Hlengwa was reacting to the Gauteng ANC’s decision for presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife, Loyiso, to appear before the party’s provincial integrity committee and to take a two- to four-week leave of absence.

"What I am fundamentally interested in is that the tenders are actually investigated, because to subject people to an internal disciplinary process may be noble, but it may not yield the consequence management and results which are required to set the tone within the state apparatus that corruption will not be tolerated, so it needs to be elevated to a higher level."

Hlengwa also said that the Gauteng legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts was "dutybound" to scrutinise COVID-19 expenditure in the province "as a matter of urgency".

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