Khusela Diko PPE corruption

Image via Twitter: Khusela Diko

PPE scandal: Khusela Diko and husband threaten to sue journalists

While Madzikane ll Thandisizwe Diko has denied receiving a cent from the Gauteng Health department over the PPE contract, recent media reports seem to suggest otherwise

Khusela Diko PPE corruption

Image via Twitter: Khusela Diko

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko and her husband Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko have lawyered up and threatened to take legal action against Independent Media over its latest report, which contradicts the couple on the PPE tender saga.

The publication claims Diko’s company Royal Bhaca Projects, which had been awarded the lucrative contract, received at least R80 million for its work through a front company called Ledla Structural Development.

The money was allegedly channelled through the company in 12 tranches of between R120 000 and R38 million “after the company invoiced for items that bear a striking resemblance in value, quantity and pricing to the ones supplied by Royal Bhaca”, Independent Media said.

It is yet to be said whether the amount was a portion of the R125 million contract which was initially awarded.

The latest reports are contrary to what the Dikos have said since the scandal was unraveled – that they received no money from government for their work done.

“Did I deliver? Yes I delivered, but Royal Bhaca did not get a cent, it was not paid. We felt RBP should withdraw from it, she insisted that I should pull out of it because it would cause problems,” Madzikane is quoted as saying.

Diko lawyers: ‘Publication of the article is unlawful’

In a letter sent from the Dikos lawyers to Independent Media, the publication has been given 24 hours to withdraw the article and issue an apology.

“The publication of the above mentioned article is unlawful, and we hereby demand that you must, within 24 hours, unconditionally withdraw these unfounded allegations and publish an apology for making such allegations and in that apology you must unequivocally state that the allegations are false. Should you fail to do so, we are instructed to approach the High Court and pursue our clients’ rights herein”, a portion of the letter read.

Independent Media: ‘Bring it on’

In response, Independent Media assistant editor Piet Rampedi said they were sticking to their guns and would not be giving in to their demands.

“We stand by our story. We have no intention to retract and apologise. Mr Thandisizwe Diko and Mrs (Khusela) Diko are free to proceed with any legal action, if they so wish. And we are ready to prove our case”, Rampedi said.