Embattled former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, who is at the centre of the province’s personal protective equipment procurement (PPE) scandal, has welcomed the charge sheet tabled before him by the ANC’s Provincial Disciplinary Committee (PDC).
In a statement on Friday, Masuku’s lawyer Mojalefa Motalane said Masuku reiterated his confidence in the ANC process, and believed the PDC would get to the merits of the charges and that he would be given the opportunity to prove he was not guilty of the charges.
Masuku faces charges relating to his alleged failure to exercise oversight as provincial health MEC and of bringing the party into disrepute.
The former MEC, along with presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko are faced with allegations of being involved in unlawful PPE contracts in the Gauteng Department of Health.
Masuku, his wife, Loyiso, an MMC in the City of Johannesburg, as well as Diko, were all placed on leave of absence following the reports of the alleged tender corruption. Diko’s husband, Chief Madzikane II was awarded an R125 million tender to supply PPE to the department.
It was reported on Tuesday that the charge sheet showed Masuku’s hearing was scheduled for December 17 to 19 at Walter Sisulu House in Johannesburg.
The provincial executive council and the ANC upheld the findings that Masuku had a conflict of interest in awarding a PPE contract to Royal Bhaca Projects, owned by Madzikane II.
“The charge sheet traverses the same issues pertaining to oversight responsibilities of an executive authority that are pending before the Full Court of the Gauteng Provincial Division, Pretoria.
“Our client’s version on these issues is already public knowledge as he already deposed to [sic] affidavits in this pending High Court application. The Full Court of the Gauteng Provincial Division, Pretoria will hear argument on these issues on the 21st of January 2021.
“Our client’s counsel filed heads of argument as per the directive of the Court on the 7th of December 2020. Notwithstanding that the Special Investigating Unit’s heads of argument were due on the 9th of December 2020, they are yet to be received,” Motalane said.
The lawyer added that it was also Masuku’s belief that those who were tasked with investigating irregularities, malfeasance, and corruption, must, when necessary, also be scrutinised to ensure their actions lived up to the standards expected by the Constitution and law.
Masuku is challenging the findings of the Special Investigating Unit(SIU) in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. He is petitioning the court to rule the findings unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid – and for them to be set aside.
His lawyer previously said: “… the SIU findings reach untruthful and unsubstantiated conclusions which are based on illogical inferences, suppositions, and conjecture. The lack of a factual and or evidentiary foundation for the impugned findings heightens the injustices that our client has suffered and continues to suffer.”
In Friday’s statement, Motalane added that as contained in Masuku’s affidavits to the court, the SIU had failed to produce evidence of actual wrongdoing on his part, adding that it had instead, relied on, “imaginary wrongdoing, factually incorrect statements and relied on wrong conclusions of law.
“It is our client’s belief that the SIU’s findings are thus irrational, devoid of evidence and/or a legal foundation. They offend the principle of legality in every respect and thus our client is optimistic that the Gauteng Provincial Division, Pretoria will properly consider the matter before it and reach the correct finding.”
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