The North Gauteng High Court’s dismissal of former Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku‘s application to set aside the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into PPE procurement irregularities in the Gauteng Health Department confirms his political negligence in this matter.
Masuku is correct that no crime was directly linked to him in the SIU report, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and further investigations may reveal a different story.
At this stage, we know that Masuku failed to stop the PPE scandal, which is confirmed by Judge Sutherland’s scathing remarks in his judgment.
According to Sutherland, Masuku was “deaf and blind” to the risks of alleged irregularities in his department, and his failure to read his emails was prima facie “a confession of unprofessionalism and dereliction of his duties.”
Judge Sutherland adds that Masuku’s “conduct shows a lack of judgment and diligence.”
Masuku is trying to rescue his political career, but this judgement shows that Premier David Makhura was correct to fire him as Health MEC.
A similar standard should be applied to other ANC politicians who have shamefully neglected their duties, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi who failed to stop R430 million spent on unnecessary cleaning of schools.