MEC Jacob Mamabolo replaces Masuku as PPE investigation unfolds

MEC Jacob Mamabolo replaces Masuku as PPE investigation unfolds

Gauteng’s Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo has been appointed acting Health MEC by Premier David Makhura.

Makhura made the announcement on Thursday, 30 July 2020, just hours after the ANC in Gauteng announced it would be subjecting Bandile Masuku and Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, who have been subjected to the party’s integrity committee over a R125 million personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal.

The premier has announced that Masuku, who has been spearheading the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, would be placed on leave for four weeks pending an investigation into the matter.

While Makhura acknowledged that Masuku had been doing well under the province’s Coronavirus Command Council, he was disappointed over allegations linking him to a R125 million PPE tender.

“This cannot be ignored by any serious government, nor can the ANC ignore and the ANC itself has taken specific decisions…I’m hoping all these investigations will be completed”, he said.

“This PPE story has the potential to sidetrack us from the battle of saving lives and it is shameful, utterly shameful to have money meant to help save lives being open for general (looting)”

Makhura: ‘These allegations have undermined our work’

He also stressed that the extent of the allegations had undercut the province’s work, including efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no doubt, the scale of these allegations has eroded public confidence in the work of the collective that I have the honour to lead in this province, but also these allegations have profoundly undermined the tremendous work done by various sectors, our healthcare workers across the province in the fight against COVID-19”, he said.

“The open tender system is something that we championed in Gauteng province, we introduced that to ensure there is greater transparency in the awarding of tenders because all over the world, the area of procurement is vulnerable and open to corrupt practices”

Makhura added that as a result of the tender system, the province saw a significant rise in clean audits from 2014.

“This was part of a consistent message to the people out there, the public whose money is what we use to do the work we’re supposed to do, in order to the quality of life of members of the public…There’s accountability and this was shown in the improvements in audit outcomes”, the premier said.

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