Gauteng Premier David Makhura has suspended the head of the Department of Health Professor Mkhululi Lukhele under precautionary suspension with immediate effect.
Acting on recommendations from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), after a report presented to Makhura last week Tuesday found that Lukhele failed to exercise his responsibility in the awarding of contracts to certain companies for the procurement of goods and services in relation to governments response to Covid-19.
“The actions, or commissions by the HoD may have resulted in the department incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Lukhele remains on precautionary suspension pending the completion of the investigations by the SIU and disciplinary proceedings for misconduct,” the Premier said in a statement.
The DA has called on Makhura to suspend Lukhele, after he was implicated by the SIU in the irregular award of personal protective equipment contracts.
The DA’s MPL Jack Bloom said Makhura was slow in suspending Lukhele, who was plainly derelict in his duty to ensure that proper procurement procedures were followed.
The party said it had called for Lukhele’s suspension after it was revealed in a reply to his questions in the Gauteng Legislature that he authorised the choice of a questionable company for a R140 million contract that was found to be irregular, and cancelled after millions were paid.