According to reports there is an internal ANC battle over whether suspended Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku should be cleared of involvement in the R2 billion PPE corruption scandal.
It appears that the ANC’s provincial integrity commission has made damning findings against him, including that he should have exercised better oversight in preventing the corruption, and did not address the conflict of interest arising from his wife’s friendship with Khusela Diko, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, whose husband scored a multimillion PPE contract.
Masuku has contested the findings against him so the report may be changed in his favour.
The ANC’s provincial executive committee has yet to consider the matter, but Masuku’s allies, which include Premier David Masuku, are reportedly seeking to save his political career.
Masuku’s fate should not depend on internal ANC wrangling.
It is clear that he is politically accountable for not preventing the corruption and he should therefore go.
It is particularly damning that he insisted that the Department’s Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya resigned at the end of May due to personal reasons even though he knew she was facing disciplinary action for the fishy PPE contracts.
We are also waiting for the report of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to determine the true extent of the criminality in this matter.
Internal ANC politics should not absolve Masuku of his political accountability for the PPE scandal – he must go and real efforts made to clear out the rot in the Gauteng Health Department.