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Steenhuisen asks for Ramaphosa to answer to COVID-19 corruption claims in Parly

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso, a City of Joburg official, are at the centre of just one of several high-level corruption probes recently launched into a tender for personal protective equipment.

FILE: DA leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen has officially asked for an urgent parliamentary debate to give President Cyril Ramaphosa an opportunity to answer to allegations of corruption related to the country's COVID-19 relief fund.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso, a City of Joburg official, are at the centre of just one of several high-level corruption probes recently launched into a tender for personal protective equipment.

The multimillion-rand tender was awarded to Amabhaca chief Madzikane ll Thandisizwe Diko who is married to the president's spokesperson Khusela Diko.

Steenhuisen wants Ramaphosa to answer to what will no doubt be tough questions from the opposition benches.

Presidential spokesperson Diko, Masuku, Ramaphosa's son Andile - among others- are implicated in questionable tenders signed during the lockdown.

Steenhuisen has now written to the speaker of Parliament to convene an urgent snap debate where Ramaphosa will explain how possible graft happened under his watch.

“President Ramaphosa will have to present himself before Parliament and answer for the behaviour of its party and its members and set out exactly how he intends to act each implicated individual.”

Some of the matters have been referred to law enforcement agencies for investigation.

Lawyers have given the Sunday Independent 24 hours to withdraw an article implicating the Amabhaca chief in the awarding of that government tender.

The paper claims the chief received R80 million from the Gauteng Department to provide personal protective equipment.

In a letter, the lawyers said the article was unlawful and they've threatened legal action if the publication failed to withdraw the article.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng said it expects Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku to be arrested soon.

The party lodged a criminal complaint against Masuku at the Johannesburg central prison on Sunday.
EFF leader in the Gauteng legislature Itani Mukwevu said the law must take its cause: “
Diko and Masukus have been granted leave of absence and the African National Congress have referred them to the integrity commission.

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