Avatar photo

By Citizen Reporter


Ex-minister Zweli Mkhize wants Digital Vibes probe set aside – report

Mkhize wants the SIU to produce a Cabinet resolution it said showed that he broke the law by awarding the tender to Digital Vibes.

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who resigned after he was implicated in the R150 million Digital Vibes scandal, wants the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report set aside.

The SIU carried out the probe into the irregular tender last year after claims that Mkhize, his family and close associates personally benefited from the contract. The tender was for the Department of Health’s National Health Insurance (NHI) communication work and later, Covid-19 media campaigns.

Digital Vibes, a communications company, was purportedly owned by Mkhize’s close associate Tahera Mather.

Mkhize denied any wrongdoing, and was placed on precautionary suspension in June. He then resigned in October 2021 ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle.

According to a City Press report, Mkhize wants the SIU to produce a Cabinet resolution that it says proves that he broke the law by awarding the NHI communications contract to Digital Vibes when the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) could have done the job.

ALSO READ: Mkhize’s son admits to receiving money from Digital Vibes ‘owner’

He approached the high court in Pretoria December last year, requesting that the court force the SIU to comply with court rules and provide him with the Cabinet resolution regarding the GCIS. Mkhize wants the SIU’s opposition to his application dismissed should the investigative unit fail to produce the resolution, read the report.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is the second respondent in the application.

In reply to Mkhize’s papers, the SIU said it was going to oppose his second motion to set aside the report. It filed a replying affidavit a week after Mkhize filed his motion.

This is not the first time that the former minister challenges the damning report that was poised to end his political career. He approached the high court last year to have the findings against him set aside, saying his long-standing career was jeopardised by the probe.

The damning findings showed how millions in public funds were spent on, among others, home improvements, a hair salon and nail franchise, luxury holidays and designer clothes by Mkhize’s associates and family members.

The department incurred irregular expenditure of almost R150 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of between R72 million and R80 million, the SIU said at the time.

NOW READ: Phaahla apologises to South Africans for ‘devastating’ Digital Vibes saga