Court says SIU was not irrational in findings against ex-Health MEC Masuku

It also said the former MEC was neglectful, lacked professionalism and care in discharging his duties.

FILE: Former Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on 20 July 2020. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria has on Monday found that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was not irrational in its preliminary findings against axed Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

It also said the former MEC was neglectful, lacked professionalism and care in discharging his duties.

Masuku’s bid to set aside the SIU’s report into the Gauteng health COVID-19 tender irregularities has been dismissed with cost to both counsel.

READ: Masuku fails in bid to challenge SIU report that to led to his axing as MEC

The matter, which was heard by a full bench, relates to the report that led to his axing.

Masuku, his wife, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko and now her late husband chief Madzikane Diko were at the centre of a tender saga after the Gauteng Department of Health awarded the late chief a multimillion-rand contract to procure personal protective equipment.

READ: Khusela Diko given extension to respond to SIU questions relating to PPE tender

Masuku’s hoped that the courts would find in his favour have been dashed at least for now.

The High Court has ruled that the SIU was not irrational when forming its opinion on how he discharged his duties.

Two particular aspects were taken into consideration, one of negligence and the other of being deaf and blind to the risk posed by procurement processes without proper controls in place.

The judgement referred to Masuku’s rebuttal as simply protesting that he was entitled to remain detached even during a pandemic.

While the SIU report was used to fire Masuku as MEC – the full bench also noted that no such instruction was issued to Premier David Makhura and that he had no obligation to give the opinion any weight.

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