Gauteng Premier should rule out reinstatement of failed Health MEC

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes that Gauteng Premier David Makhura has relieved Dr Bandile Masuku of his responsibilities as Health MEC because of an adverse SIU report finding, but has left the door open to reinstate him if the final SIU investigation clears him of acts of corruption or collusion in the PPE corruption scandal.

According to Makhura, the SIU has found that Masuku failed to execute his functions in compliance with the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

I am astonished that Makhura is prepared to overlook Masuku’s political failure as the SIU confirms the obvious fact that he failed to prevent the massive corruption that occurred.

Contravention of the Constitution and the PFMA is a serious matter, and the outcome in this case has been about R2 billion irregular expenditure and inferior PPE that endangered the lives of health workers in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Makhura himself pointed out that senior officials were being disciplined or resigned because they did not take action to prevent the corruption. This surely applies to the political head as well.

It seems that Makhura wishes to rescue a friend and political ally rather than enforce high standards of accountability. This undermines the fight against future corruption.

The Premier should rule out any reinstatement of Masuku as Health MEC and appoint a new MEC who can fix the deep rot in this department.