Suspended presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko has announced her intention to appeal the findings of the ANC’s provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) in Gauteng, which found her guilty of bringing the governing party into disrepute.
In a statement released on Wednesday by her lawyers, Avela Nontso Attorneys, Diko said she wrote to the PDC informing it of her decision to challenge its findings to the ANC’s national disciplinary committee.
She believes the PDC’s findings are “wholly irrational and if left unchallenged, will set a devastating precedent according to members would be expected to be conversant and to comply with rules that do not currently exist which include a directive to disclose a spouse’s business interests to the provincial office bearers of the ANC.”
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According to reports, Diko has been told to step down from her position as a member of the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC).
Diko and former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku were embroiled in a Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal last year after the provincial health department awarded a multimillion-rand tender to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by Diko’s late husband, Thandisizwe Diko.
The pair have both been asked to step aside from all party positions, and to not speak on behalf of the ANC until the SIU investigation has been concluded into the matter.
The decision was reportedly accepted by the PEC at its meeting that took place over the weekend.
Masuku has already indicated he will appeal the disciplinary committee’s ruling.
At the same time, Diko has taken exception to comments made by ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe to the media regarding internal ANC processes that are still underway.
Khawe has been quoted in the media saying the decision of the PDC was accepted by the PEC at its meeting that took place over the weekend. He also said he was not aware of Diko’s appeal of the committee’s findings.
Diko said the comments attributed to Khawe were regrettable.
“At best they are blatantly dishonest and nowhere near cogent. Further it is our client’s assertion that there is no decision that has been taken by the provincial executive committee to accept and implement the findings of the PDC, particularly in light of the fact that our client has elected to exercise her constitutionally enshrined right to appeal/review the decision of the PDC.”
Diko has also taken issue with the charges the ANC levelled against her, arguing that there is no ANC rule that requires members to disclose their potential conflicts of interest, and “there is no ANC rule or policy barring spouses of ANC members from doing business with government entities”.
“Khusela Diko has been charged and sanctioned for conduct that is not in violation of any rule or policy of the ANC, and she has not broken any law or committed any unethical, unlawful and/or immoral act.”
Diko has been on precautionary suspension since the scandal and was charged by the Presidency for failing to disclose her financial interests.