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Gauteng ANC confirms extension of leave of absence for Diko, Masuku couple

Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Joburg MMC Loyiso Masuku are implicated in irregular personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders in the province.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on 20 July 2020 inspects the Nasrec field hospital's state of readiness amidst the province's increase in coronavirus cases. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has confirmed that its provincial executive committee (PEC) has extended the leave of absence of its three senior members implicated in irregular personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders in the province.

The three are suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Joburg MMC Loyiso Masuku.

The party’s provincial secretary Jacob Khawe said that the two-week extension is to allow more time for the integrity commission to address weaknesses in its report, which was discussed during the PEC’s meeting over the weekend.

Khawe has dismissed suggestions that the extension is meant to soften the blow to the ANC senior members, with some of the provincial integrity commission pointing to insufficient oversight by Masuku.

He said that the integrity commission’s report needed to be beefed up to address, among others, the evidence relied on to arrive at their findings, including whether the Special Investigating Unit was investigating them.

“I think on this matter, we wanted a report that could stand the test of time.”

The commission was given four weeks to investigate the issues around the awarding of a multimillion-rand PPE tender by the Gauteng Health Department to Diko’s husband.

Khawe said that the provisioned time was simply too short for the committee to make solid recommendations.

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