- The Diko family is now threatening to sue after a report claimed they had received R80 million in a Covid-19 scandal
- Independent Media as a a company is adamant that it can back up claims that a front company had been used to facilitate the payments
- This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson and her husband denied receiving a cent
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Khusela Diko and her husband Madzikane Diko have threatened to sue Independent Media after it released a report on the couple's Covid-19 PPE tender scandal.
Royal Bhaca Projects, owned by Madzikane, was green-lighted by the Gauteng Department of Health for a R125 million tender to supply PPE.
The couple had been faced with immense public backlash over the situation and later claimed that it had cancelled the contract after realising their mistake.
However, IOL reported that they had received a minimum of R80 million using a front company called Ledla Structural Development.
The invoices, according to the report, bear a resemblance in numerous ways to the contract that sparked the scandal in the first place.
READ ALSO: Fact Check: No, Khusela Diko's husband isn't actually a king
Madzikane denied receiving any payments for the work done despite admitting to delivering:
“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."
In a letter sent by the family's lawyers to the publication it was demanded that the article be withdrawn and an apology issued:
“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."
Assistant editor Piet Rampedi, however, is adamant they will not retract the report, saying they can back up their allegations:
“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."
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Madzikane's claim that he is a king has fallen somewhat flat.
Now, the grandchildren of Inkosi Madzikane have accused Diko of being 'mischievous' for referring to himself as a king:
“Without having to bore everyone with a long historical account, but those who’ve cared to follow our nation’s history will be aware that after the passing on of King Ncapayi, we have never had any king."
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