The ANC in Gauteng has reportedly told suspended presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko to step down from her position as a member of the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC).
The Mail & Guardian on Tuesday evening reported that the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) found Diko guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute and recommended that she extends her special leave from the presidency.
Diko and former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku were embroiled in a Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal last year after the provincial health department awarded a multimillion-rand tender to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by Diko’s late husband, Thandisizwe Diko.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura fired Masuku in October following a report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into PPE procurement irregulars, which found he had failed to exercise oversight over his department.
Diko has been on precautionary suspension since the scandal and was charged by the Presidency for failing to disclose her financial interests.
According to the M&G report, Diko and Masuku have both been asked to step aside from all party positions and to not speak on behalf of the ANC until the SIU investigation has been concluded into the matter.
The decision was reportedly accepted by the PEC at its meeting that took place over the weekend.
The pair have also been ordered to cooperate with the SIU, get on a self-training programme and submit a paper to the provincial secretary Jacob Khawe on “several topics” within six months.
Khawe told the M&G the PEC recommended that Diko “voluntarily and with a discussion with the employer, in the interest of the ANC, extend leave in the presidency until the SIU concludes its investigation”.
Masuku has already indicated he will appeal the provincial disciplinary committee’s ruling. It was unclear whether Diko would do the same.