- King Madzikane Diko and Khusela Diko have been under fire after it emerged that a company linked to the pair had scored a R125 million tender
- Madzikane's company, Royal Bhaca Projects, had secured a contract with the government to supply PPE amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- Now, the couple has admitted to having secured the tender but are adamant they cancelled when realising their mistake
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King Madzikane Diko and Khusela Diko have addressed the recent controversy surrounding alleged connections to Covid-19 relief fund tenders.
In a statement issued by the couple, the pair sought to set the record straight amid immense speculation of irregularities and corruption:
"As individuals, a couple and a family, we have found ourselves at the centre of a media and public storm over a Gauteng Health Department Personal Protective Equipment supply contract that was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects and subsequently cancelled. Despite the absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid to Royal Bhaca Projects, details of which will be further ventilated by the investigations, the matter continues to draw outrage from across society."
READ ALSO: Ramaphosa's spokesperson takes leave of absence over tender scandal
The couple acknowledged that widespread corruption in South Africa had shown a 'correlation between political office and influence', saying that they understand why the public has reacted so strongly to the allegations levied against them.
As for any wrongdoing on their part, the Dikos are adamant that they realised their mistake which led to them cancelling the contract:
"We have attempted to rectify this matter by seeking to cancel the contract and we deeply regret the error of judgement that led Royal Bhaca to seek to do business with this Department in the first place."
Responding to reports over their ties to Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, the couple went on to explain that:
"The ties between the Diko and Masuku families predate the public office positions that are occupied by the respective members of both families. We have never hidden the relationship, as evidenced by various social media posts that have been referenced by the media. These family ties have been based on mutual respect and values that we uphold."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Khusela Diko, President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson, had requested a leave of absence from her post.
Diko had made this move shortly after news broke that her husband had been green-lighted for the tender.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Presidency, it was confirmed that Diko had made the call due to the scandal.
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