By CELANI SIKHAKHANE
Suspended presidential spokesperson and member of the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) in Gauteng, Khusela Diko, has accused the party’s disciplinary committee of what she calls ‘a political witch hunt’.
This comes after a disciplinary process by the ANC in the province found her guilty of bringing the party into disrepute. Diko has slammed the process and opted to appeal the matter to the ANC’s national disciplinary structure.
In a statement released through her lawyer, Avela Nontso, Diko said they were convinced the ANC’s provincial disciplinary committee undermined her right to a fair process. She expressed concerns that details of internal ANC processes had been leaked to the media.
“This type of conduct not only undermines internal processes of the ANC, but it also, without doubt, serves nefarious political ends and if left unchallenged in the media, distorted facts will be perceived to be true,” she said.
One of the findings made against her was that Diko did not disclose her husband’s business interests to the ANC PEC or any office bearer of the PEC.
The matter was related to a cancelled contract for personal protective equipment (PPE) awarded to her late husband, Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko.
Diko, through her lawyers, said it was not a requirement for her to reveal her husband’s business interests. She said she was of the view that it wasn’t necessary, as the matter was buried once the contract awarded to her late husband had been cancelled.
The PDC noted whether it was a requirement or not, Diko should have disclosed her husband’s business interests and what transpired to the ANC PEC, chairperson or provincial secretary (Jacob Khawe).
They said contrary to the PDC’s utterances, nowhere in their decision was a rule quoted or relied upon that placed a responsibility on a member of the ANC to disclose a spouse’s business interests to the PEC or provincial office bearers.
“The media statement prepared by the PDC stated that no evidence was produced that Diko had committed any misconduct by using her positions in the ANC or government for self-enrichment,” said Diko’s lawyers.
They further revealed that Diko had been charged and sanctioned for conduct that was not in violation of any rule or policy of the ANC.