Politics

Cosatu urges Gauteng Health MEC Masuku to 'step aside' over tender allegations

Cosatu urges Gauteng Health MEC Masuku to 'step aside' over tender allegations

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu is calling on Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku to step aside amid corruption allegations.

The trade union federation said that those implicated in irregular tender processes linked to the COVID-19 relief fund must do the honorable thing and take special leave.

Masuku released a statement this week denying allegations that he influenced procurement processes during the pandemic.

The Sunday Independent linked Masuku and his wife Loyiso Lugayeni-Masuku to a suspicious R125 million tender for personal protective equipment.

Cosatu's Sizwe Pamla: "It's just not acceptable. Of course, it doesn't mean that the individuals are guilty but we hope that the individuals will find it within themselves to step aside and do the right thing and clear their names."

The Presidency's spokesperson Khusela Diko has already stepped aside from her roles following allegations that her husband, amaBhaca King Madzikane II Thandisizwe, benefited from that Health Department tender.

The SIU is investigating at least 90 companies that received contracts from the Gauteng Health Department during the state of disaster.

MASUKU DENIAL

In a statement, Masuku said he always acted with integrity and conviction and strongly denied any suggestion that the COVID-19 procurement process was being used to raise funds for the African National Congress (ANC) conference.

“Throughout my career, I have always acted with utmost integrity and conviction. I strongly refute any suggestion that COVID-19 procurement is being used as a means to raise funds ahead of ANC conferences,” Masuku said.

Masuku said that the process of awarding contracts within the department rested entirely on supply chain management in the finance department.

The MEC said he remained committed to ensuring that lives were saved during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As MEC for Health in Gauteng, I remain committed to ensuring that our comprehensive health response is focused on saving lives. I will do everything in my power to ensure that anyone found to be stealing money meant for COVID-19 relief are identified and brought to book,” he said.

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