It looks like this particular deal wasn’t ‘masked’ very well. President Ramaphosa and his spokesperson are yet to respond to these corruption allegations.
A potential corruption scandal involving the office of President Ramaphosa has emerged over the weekend, after a key member of staff was accused of using her connections to illegally profit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Royal Bhaca Projects (RB), was awarded contracts worth R125 million by the Gauteng Department of Health on March 30 – days after the president announced a national lockdown. As the Sunday Independent revealed, the firm is owned by the husband of presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, sparking a wave of accusations that the tender is mired in corruption.
Royal Bhaca scored two contracts worth R47m and R78m, respectively, for the supply and delivery of PPEs to the department. Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko is listed as the firm’s sole director.
The report 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, despite mounting allegations to the contrary.
Jack Bloom is the Shadow MEC for Health in Gauteng. He is demanding a swift investigation into what he calls a ‘fishy set of circumstances’. The DA representative wants to snuff-out any potential ‘COVID corruption’:
“The Gauteng Health Department needs to explain how a company owned by the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s spokesperson Khusela Diko reportedly scored a multi-million rand contract to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“It’s unthinkable that anyone could benefit corruptly from this crisis by using connections to get contracts and charge rip-off prices. I will be asking questions in the Gauteng Legislature to ensure that there is a proper investigation in this matter to ensure that all urgent purchases are value for money and free of corruption.”