News24 can reveal King Madzikane II Diko and City of Johannesburg MMC Loyiso Masuku are co-directors in a company said to be currently undergoing deregistration
The two were admitted as directors of Cytozone, which was established in 2012, in June last year.
The king and the MMC, along with their spouses – Khusela Diko who is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson and Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku – have been at the centre of public outrage following news of the king being awarded a R125 million tender to provide personal protective equipment by the provincial health department.
All parties linked to the claims have denied any wrongdoing, with the Dikos releasing a statement on Wednesday expressing remorse over the king’s decision to pursue the tender, which they said was an “error of judgement”.
The Dikos said they have been friends with the Masuku family long before any of them assumed public office, admitting in the “current atmosphere” the history between their families raised suspicion and concern.
They also insisted on never having discussed extending their family ties to benefits that would be obtained through procuring deals in the public sector.
Loyiso told News24 Cytozone was set up “many years ago” before she took office in the City of Johannesburg as MMC for corporate and shared services in December.
She confirmed she and the king were co-directors of the company.
“It was formed for the purpose of working on community projects. Sadly, the projects never got off the ground. The company never traded nor did it conduct any business with any institution.”
Loyisi said the company did not even have a bank account and was in the process of being deregistered.
This despite the fact when checking the company’s profile, it can still be seen as active with the two listed as directors as well as a Christian Gouws, its former director, who has resigned from Cytozone.
On Wednesday, the king, in a statement, he sent out with his spouse spoke of the relationship the couple shared with the Masuku family, claiming there had been attempts at forming business partnerships before any of them were appointed to public office.
“Over the years, prior to any of us ascending to public office and positions, some members of our families contemplated several business partnerships due to our strong bonds and aspirations in various endeavours, including agriculture and community healthcare among others,” he said.
Khusela took a leave of absence from all her government roles this week, while Bandile attempted on Sunday evening to set the record straight, claiming he was innocent. He also called on authorities to act if evidence of corruption emerged from his department.