The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has called for the province’s department of health to explain how a company owned by the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, reportedly scored a multimillion-rand contract to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the Covid-19 pandemic.
DA MPL Jack Bloom said the party was calling for the probe following a report in the Sunday Independent on Sunday, reporting that Madzikane Diko’s company, Royal Bhaca Projects (RBP), received part of the R2.2 billion PPE tenders awarded to 75 companies by the Gauteng health department since March 30.
“It is also alleged that the department paid inflated prices, above the National Treasury’s regulated PPE price list published on April 15.
“Diko has denied that RBP has a contract with the department or been paid any money, but the department’s expenditure report shows RBP was awarded another R47 million PPE contract on March 30, two days before it got one for R78 million on April 1,” Bloom said.
He added: “Furthermore, it is alleged that RBP charged R58 per surgical mask compared to a regulated price of R12.48, and R85 per 500ml unit of Actigerm alcohol sanitiser, which is regulated at R46.37.”
Bloom said it appeared that there were other “fishy” PPE suppliers for the R2.2 billion spent by the department in three months.
“This may be the reason why the department’s Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya resigned recently. We do not know if she was trying to stop the corruption or was perhaps implicated herself.
“It should be unthinkable that anyone could benefit corruptly from this crisis by using connections to get contracts and charge rip-off prices,” said Bloom.
He said he would ask questions in the Gauteng Legislature with the intent of leading to a probe into the matter and “to ensure that all urgent purchases are value for money and free of corruption”.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)