Diko family shocked by Bhaca chief Thandisizwe’s death

Chief Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, has passed away at the age of 43 years.

Khusela’s brother, Vulithuba Sangoni, confirmed to the Mail & Guardian that the chief died in an East London hospital on Sunday night. 

“We don’t have all the details yet. As soon as the family sits down we will be able to communicate with the media,” he said. 

Sangoni added that Khusela was on her way to Eastern Cape from Johannesburg. 

“You can all imagine how she must feel. I have not spoken to her yet because she is on the road. This is all new: we are shocked because he was a healthy man,” Sangoni said. 


The Dikos came under media scrutiny after the Sunday Independent reported that Royal Bhaca Projects owned by the chief was awarded a R125-milion tender by the Gauteng health department irregularly last year.  

But even after the contract was cancelled, a company called Ledla Structural Development, an alleged proxy for Royal Bhaca, received more than R38-million from the department. Diko’s husband is the sole director of Royal Bhaca. 

The scandal resulted in Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku — a friend of the Dikos — getting the chop and facing disciplinary charges from the ANC in the province, together with Khusela Diko. 

The two, who sit in the provincial executive, have appeared before the party’s disciplinary committee for bringing the ANC into disrepute.

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

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