Speaking at a Gauteng Provincial Command Council media briefing on Covid-19 in the Gauteng province, Premier David Makhura denied having any links to businessman Hamilton Ndlovu.
This after allegations were published on social media that Makhura had green-lit a multi-million Rand contract to supply the province with personal protective equipment (PPE) in Ndlovu’s favour.
Ndlovu recently made headlines for showing off a major consignment of luxury cars that he had bought for his family.
During his concluding remarks, Makhura confirmed that 80% of the companies contracted to provide the province with PPE have been black or female-owned companies.
“80% of procurement of PPE has been principally in line with our policy of economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged.
“We have also taken steps to ensure that there is clean and prudent management of the procurement process to ensure that there is no corruption happening with the procurement of PPE in particular and with the construction,” added Makhura.
After speaking at length about the tactics employed by officials found guilty of wrongdoing with the hopes of evading prosecution, Makhura alleged that over the last few weeks, there has been what he calls a Bell Pottinger-type smear campaign
“As a result of these anti-corruption measures and anti-corruption crackdown, and this work being done by the provincial government along with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU)… we have noticed in the last few days that there is a typical Bell Pottinger-type of smear campaign which has been launched by what we regard essentially as the beneficiaries and forces of corruption who think they can intimidate, silence or even destroy those who are opposed to corrupt deals in the Gauteng provincial government.
“Their mantra is ‘if they can’t buy you, they must destroy you’.”
He said he wanted to send a message to these corrupt elements and their agents working within the ranks of the Gauteng provincial government that “your smear campaign will not succeed and we are coming for every contract”.
According to Makhura, he and Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku are the primary targets of this smear campaign.
“Out there in the social media, there are those tweets that are out there to try and link us with people we don’t know, people we have never met in our lives… Including a chap called Hamilton Ndlovu, who we have never met, me, I’ve never met the guy, MEC Masuku has never met the guy.”
He attributed these alleged falsehoods to a well-orchestrated strategy to “attack the attackers”.
Furthermore, he stated that auditors have vetted the province’s PPE contracts and found that there are no contracts that were procured in an untoward manner.
According to the premier, their attackers do not want them to empower black people cleanly and ethically.
“We are aware of the smear campaign and as the saying goes, ‘lies have got short legs’ and as it goes, it will reveal itself,” commented Masuku.