Sat, 05 Dec 2020

A lawyer representing former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku says, for the past three months, his client has endured an "onslaught of unfounded allegations" that were used to "tarnish" his integrity and image.

Masuku has approached the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, to review findings by the Special Investigating Unit.

He has denied any involvement in a PPE procurement scandal that saw him removed from his post.

The SIU recently placed Masuku at the centre of processes in the health department from where presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko's husband won a R125-million tender to supply personal protective equipment (PPE).

Masuku's lawyer Mojalefa Motalane said:

"For a period of three months, Dr Masuku has endured an onslaught of unfounded allegations that have been used to tarnish his professional integrity and image, thereby violating a wide range of his rights in law and denying him justice."

The matter is expected to be heard on Tuesday 24 November.

Masuku argued that the findings and recommendations made by the SIU against him were unconstitutional and therefore invalid, and requested that they be set aside.

ANC Gauteng recommends Masuku, Diko head to provincial DC over Covid-19 corruption allegations

He said he had a discussion with the erstwhile CFO about providing a list of service providers to the Motsepe Foundation, as the foundation wanted to donate PPE to the department.

This email was sent as a confirmation that the list had been provided, and Masuku said he did not open or read it.

Masuku said that he was the one to urge an investigation into PPE procurement take place after concerns were raised by staff.

He also said he approached the Gauteng Audit Services to carry out the investigation, and that the matter had been escalated to the premier and the premier's Integrity Unit.

Masuka said:

"Before the matter was in the public eye or was reported on by the media...I took a decision that an investigation to uncover any wrong doing had to commence. At the time I was under no pressure from any political or media stakeholder to commence the investigation, I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do."

Masuku added that he volunteered to take special leave during the investigation, so that it not appear to be influencing the investigation.

READ | Bandile Masuku: Independent report findings 'contradicts SIU', clears him of hand in PPE graft

Masuku and Diko were also expected to appear before the Gauteng ANC disciplinary committee regarding the pending ANC disciplinary hearing.

Motalane added Masuku was ready to appear before the committee.

Source: News24

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