There was no 'tender bonanza', says Ramaphosa's spokesperson on R125m contract for her husband
Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko has come out in defence of her husband, whose company allegedly received a R125m tender to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Gauteng health department.
She denied allegations of corruption on Thursday, but acknowledged that King Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko II had received “commitment letters” which were never fulfilled.
This follows weekend reports that her husband scored in a “tender bonanza”.
“There was no tender bonanza. I am informed that the two commitment letters in question were not implemented. No public funds were disbursed to Royal Bhaca for services rendered either wholly or in part.
“There is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of myself, my husband or Royal Bhaca,” she said in a statement.
Diko said she talked her husband out of the tender, as she feared there could be perceived conflict of interests.
“I believe I acted correctly by asking my husband to withdraw from the transaction. I confirm that my husband informed me when he received the commitment letters to supply PPE to the department. It was our determination after consulting the relevant procurement regulations, that there was no inherent reason Royal Bhaca should not proceed with supply.
“Firstly, neither he nor myself are employed by the Gauteng provincial government or the provincial department of health. Secondly, I would not be involved in the adjudication of any bids.
“I did, however, express my serious reservations to him about doing business with the Gauteng department of health,” she said.
Diko said there were people related to her, who conducted business with the state before her appointment as a spokesperson and member of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC.
“I am not involved in any way in their business dealings,” she said.
There is no legal prohibition on individuals with family members employed in government from pursuing business with the state, according to Diko.
“Legally, however, they are obligated not to do business with departments where relatives work; they are duty bound by the laws of the republic to follow prescribed procurement processes and where appropriate, we as public servants are required to declare at the beginning of each financial year.
“More importantly, as leaders and senior civil servants we have a moral obligation to act in a manner that avoids real or perceived conflict of interest,” she said.
Diko said she would co-operate, as criticism mounted and the EFF called for an investigation.
“Should there be found to be any impropriety on the part of any members of my immediate family who may do business with the state, the law should and must take its course. I will duly co-operate with any investigation into this matter should it arise,” she said.
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