Ramaphosa’s ousted spokeswoman regrets PPE contract

‘Despite the absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid …the matter continues to draw outrage’ – Khusela Diko.
Image: Moneyweb

Khusela Diko, who earlier this week took a leave of absence as spokeswoman for South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, said she regrets the “error of judgment” that led to her husband winning a contract to supply the government with personal protective equipment.

Diko stepped down from her position after newspaper reports tied her husband’s company, Royal Bhaca Projects, to a R125 million contract to supply the health department of Gauteng province with the equipment. The company was registered in January last year.

Days earlier, Ramaphosa had announced a probe into possible corruption around the procurement of medical equipment, without saying which companies were under investigation. The deal with Royal Bhaca Projects has been canceled.

“Despite the absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid to Royal Bhaca Projects – details of which will be further ventilated by the investigations – the matter continues to draw outrage from across society,” Diko said in a statement Wednesday. “We have found ourselves at the centre of a media and public storm.”

Incidents of graft
The involvement of his spokeswoman in the scandal is an embarrassment to Ramaphosa, who has vowed to end the widespread corruption that marked the nine-year rule of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

The incident is among several reports of graft linked to the country’s coronavirus response that have surfaced in recent weeks and show that there’s no political will to deal with corruption, Angelique Coetzee, chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, said in a statement Thursday.

“Improprieties in medical tenders not only damage the country’s economy and reputation, but its ability to care for the sick,” Coetzee said. “When medical equipment such as personal protective equipment is the focus of an alleged wrongdoing we expect immediate and urgent action. Unless it is done, and seen to be done, irregularities will continue, and continue to burden an already over-stretched health sector.”

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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This depicts the absurdity of South African society. Dico is in the crossfire over a botched attempt at illegal plunder, while her boss, being a BEE billionaire, is praised for his successes in legalised plunder.

Who is the biggest criminal – the “amateur” who risks shame and scorn with illegal plunder, or the “professional” who reaps fame and fortune by corrupting the law to legalise plunder?

Society can still act against illegal plunder but that same society is impotent to act against legalised plunder. Even worse still, society rewards the corruption of the law by honouring those who corrupted the law to legalise their acts of plunder. How can such a society honestly expect to end this process of plunder and corruption that they have enabled, and now passionately respect, protect and honour?

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frédéric Bastiat

If only there was an option to upvote your comment a second time.

Regret or no regret. Her actions show what caliber person she is.

The so called “regret” only came out after this matter came to light.

The only real regret is that no money was “scored” from this deal

Wonder on who’s advise she took a leave of absence? It’s him?

The company office is under a tree? No workers? No uif paid over. No PAYE paid over? Not provisional tax submission 0.00?

Does not convince me its an error of judgement.

CR must take a hike.

Would be interesting to know if these brilliant entrepreneurs have (I) ever dealt in PPE (ii) ever done any business outside of government contracts and (iii) what is their value add and mark-up.

“Despite the absence of any illegality”. Wow! She is on the government payroll, her husband is on the government payroll. It was illegal for them to even submit a tender.
Well, the guys in Loothuli House must be choking of laughter in their expensive smuggled whiskey. To get the presidential office connected to a corruption scandal, neatly served on a plate by his own spokeswoman. must be the highlight of the lockdown for Ace and his pals.
I think the president must take a long and hard look at the people who submitted that tender and at the members of the bid committee who awarded it. An error of judgement? Not so likely. Maybe a well designed plan to embarrass him? Just wondering.

I call BS on your regret. Your only regret is getting caught, lady. In any other country in the world this would lead to summary dismissal pending criminal charges. In some countries this would lead to execution after a show trial. As far as CR “vowing” to rid SA of corruption: isn’t it funny how every new leader in Africa “vows” to rid the country of corruption, the most recent “vowing” in Malawi. And guess what: they just carry on where the previous lot left off. When politicians “vow” anything, hold onto your wallet and lock up your womenfolk.

… execution after a show trial … especially in that country the countries the ANC aspire to emulate.

Headline needs just a slight adjustment.

RAMAPHOSA OUSTED!!!!!

Spokeswoman regrets PPE contract.

End of comments.

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