Integrity body to sharpen teeth for date with premier

Johannesburg – Gauteng ANC has decided to strengthen its provincial integrity committee (PIC) as the party’s provincial chairperson and premier David Makhura looks set to be hauled before the body to explain his leadership role in the personal protective equipment (PPE) tender irregularities and corruption implicating his office.

The party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) is understood to have directed that the provincial PIC be beefed up with young professionals, who must include lawyers and academics, ahead of Makhura’s appearance to enable t h e structure to “come up with legally sound recommendations”.

All these decisions were taken at a PEC meeting held on Wednesday following allegations linking the premier’s office to PPE corruption in Gauteng.

According to officials who attended the meeting, the report on allegations levelled against Makhura and his deputy, Panyaza Lesufi, who is also the MEC for education, was tabled for discussion.

Sunday World understands that the PEC h as welcomed the new report related to the rectified judgment by Special Tribunal Court judge Billy Mothle that initially implicated Makhura in PPE corruption.

Mothle’s judgment had quoted an a  davit by former Gauteng health department CFO Kabelo Lehloenya, who had allegedly claimed that she was given names of individuals and entities to appoint on the PPE tender.

The Special Tribunal Court later revised its judgment after Makhura’s objection.

The tribunal said it had erred in its earlier judgment, which had directly implicated Makhura instead of the office of the premier. Despite the new judgment by the Special Tribunal Court, the provincial PEC has taken a decision that Makhura must still appear before its integrity committee to explain his office’s role in the scandal and indicate what steps he was taking as the political head of the premier’s office to find the culprits behind the PPE corruption.

The same meeting, according to two other PEC members, was also meant to discuss the latest scandal to rock the Gauteng education department after corruption allegations were levelled against Lesufi’s office involving the R430-million spent to disinfect schools in Gauteng.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 25: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

However, the two PEC members said the matter was deferred after the committee decided that there was insufficient information to take the matter forward.

They said the meeting ended up discussing the matter involving Makhura’s office before a decision was taken that he should be hauled before the integrity committee to explain himself and his leadership role in the matter The PEC members said this was decided after some members complained that elders who formed part of the committee had not been able to attend meetings, and the committee had also been failing to achieve a quorum to deal with the matters referred to it.

The PEC meeting took place two weeks after the top five officials in the province met deployees sent by the the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to discuss the allegations against Makhura.

It is understood that the NEC was represented by Joe Maswanganyi, Pemmy Majodina, Dakota Legoete, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Enock Godongwana.

According to those at the meeting, the NEC deployees cautioned that the PEC should not make decisions against the premier based on mere allegations without consulting the NEC first.

ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe conŠ rmed that the PEC has resolved that the premier must appear before the integrity commi‚ ee since his o  ce was now implicated. He a l s o confirmed that the same meeting had also resolved that the integrity committee be beefed up.

“I can confirm that the PEC held its special meeting on Wednesday which was called for by the PEC members t o d iscuss the organisational report on allegations of corruptions levelled against ANC o  cials, the chair and the deputy chair,” Khawe said. Khawe also confirmed that the matter involving Lesufi had been postponed due to a lack of detailed information.

Spokesperson for the premier Vuyo Mhaga declined to comment, referring all questions to the ANC.

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