Gauteng ANC expresses confidence in David Makhura as chair & premier

This as the party in the province steers yet another scandal with Makhura at the helm amid some calls from in and out of the ANC for him to step aside

FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng on Thursday said it continued to have faith in David Makhura as both its chairperson and premier.

This as the party in the province is dealing with another scandal with Makhura at the helm of the provincial government amid some calls from in and out of the ANC for him to step aside.

On Thursday, his deputy Panyaza Lesufi said the provincial executive felt Makhura was leading them exceptionally well.

The party also announced its decision to subject former health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko before its disciplinary processes.

City of Joburg MMC Loyiso Masuku, who is also married to the former MEC, was cleared of any wrongdoing and told she could return to work.

Gauteng’s Health Department spent over R3.6 billion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department has been part of a coronavirus scandal after Masuku and his wife were implicated in alleged fraud linked to a contract awarded to Diko's husband.

The ANC in Gauteng however said there were no allegations linking Makhura to any corruption.

Lesufi said even with past matters such as Life Esidimeni, no wrongdoing was found against the Makhura.

Almost 1,600 psychiatric patients were caught up in the scandal when they were moved from Life Esidimeni homes to ill-equipped and underfunded NGOs in Gauteng in 2015. At least 144 died - many in the most wretched of circumstances - and former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and other officials involved have not been held accountable.

But some in and outside of the party have questioned why Makhura remained unscathed while those serving under him lose their careers over government-linked scandals.

Lesufi said seeking to punish leaders for such was unfair.

“It will really send the wrong precedence that leaders are brought to book on the basis of allegations,” Lesufi said.

The deputy chair also described this period as difficult for the party.

“To have some person who was working extremely hard like comrade Bandile in the executive [and] to go through the processes that we have had to go through, we really believe that he was one of the people who were working really hard,” he said.

The ANC in Gauteng also complained of media leaks of its closed conversations and said it would launch an investigation soon.

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