Gauteng Premier David Makhura has fired Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku, on the strength of an SIU report which found that Masuku has failed to execute his functions in compliance with the constitution and public finance management (PFMA).
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recommended that the Premier should take administrative action against MEC Masuku for the purpose of determining his suitability to hold office as the responsible MEC for Health.
The position will not be filled, pending the final report which will determine his motive of committing corruption. Premier said he has decided to discharge the MEC due an updated report from the SIU pertaining to the role of Masuku, who was placed on special leave since 30 July 2020.
“With regard to the substantive public interest matter of whether the MEC was involved in any acts of corruption and or collusion regarding the procurement of PPE, the SIU reported that their investigation is still ongoing. It is a matter of public interest and a grave concern for clean governance that the investigation into this matter is concluded and that the facts are established as soon as possible,” said Premier Makhura.
He added that he has taken cognisance of the contribution that MEC Masuku has made in improving the Department of Health since his appointment and appreciate the leadership he provided during Gauteng’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
“Accordingly, I have further decided that I will only appoint the new MEC for Health once the SIU has reached finality on its investigation into allegations of corruption and collusion. It is only when this investigation is completed that I will be able to fully arrive at an objective determination of Dr. Masuku’s suitability to hold office as the MEC for Health in Gauteng,” he said.
Makhura said MEC Jacob Mamabolo will continue to act as the MEC for Health until further notice.
“Officials that saw PPE and Covid-19 as an opportunity took a risk as we will leave no stone unturned. Gauteng provincial government with other agencies will take act on the corruption and collusion that was done during the midst of the fight against th\e pandemic. There must be consequences based on investigations and evidence to those who committed corruption. Several officials have resigned and suspended the health department and we want PPE money back”, Masuku added.