Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Night Supervisor
3 minute read
30 Sep 2021
5:30 am

Daily news update: Digital Vibes report, Zondo granted extension and Mkhwebane’s perjury case

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Lulama Zenzile)

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Fraud, lies, unlawful conduct: Key findings from SIU’s report into Digital Vibes

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday authorised the publication of the final report into the R150 million contract awarded by the national Department of Health to Digital Vibes – a little-known communications company purportedly owned by former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s close associates.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) carried out the probe into the irregular tender earlier this year after shocking claims that Mkhize and his family personally benefited from the contract, which was for the department’s National Health Insurance (NHI) communication work and later, Covid-19 media campaigns.

The 114-page report was submitted to Ramaphosa in late June and there had been repeated calls from opposition parties and civil society for it to be released, in the interests of transparency and accountability.

Digital Vibes: DA calls for criminal probes against Mkhize, health officials

Digital Vibes
Former health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday called for criminal investigations against former health minister Zweli Mkhize and officials of the Department of Health implicated in alleged corruption involving the R150 million contract awarded to Digital Vibes.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the release of the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) report to the public on Wednesday after he received it in late June.

The 114-page report made damning findings against the health department’s officials, including Mkhize, who according to the SIU, interfered in the administrative authority of the department, which led to Digital Vibes winning the contract.

High court grants Zondo commission fifth extension

Pretoria High Court
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the State Capture Commission in Braamfontein, 4 November 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

The Pretoria High Court has granted the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture yet another extension three-month extension.

The commission’s application was heard in court on Wednesday morning.

Zondo had requested that he be given until 31 December to finalise the report to be handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The judgment means that this is the fifth extension that has been granted to the commission since its establishment.

Mkhwebane’s perjury case postponed once again

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s perjury case has been postponed again.

The public protector’s perjury case was previously postponed in June. The case was set to continue at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today.

National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi was given until 29 September to decide if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should go to trial with the remaining two perjury charges against Mkhwebane.

SPCA worried Boksburg tiger will eat toddlers at crèche

tiger boksburg spca toddlers creche nursery school (2)
Picture: Facebook/Bunny Park Rescue Group

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, is investigating a case of a tiger being kept as a pet at a home in Impala Park.

The SPCA said it was involved with the welfare of the tiger. However, it required assistance from the City of Ekurhuleni with regard to enforcing by-laws.

“No exotic or wild animal should be kept by humans as a ‘pet’. This can only end badly, and this poor animal will be the one to suffer because of ignorant humans.”

However, the tiger’s welfare – while already a big concern – is only one part of what the SPCA coined a “shocking situation”.

‘Servant’ Kuli Roberts joins ATM as councillor candidate

Kuli Roberts joins ATM. Picture: Mzwanele Manyi/Twitter

In one of the most surprising announcements recently in the political space, Kuli Roberts has been announced as a councillor candidate for the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in Tshwane.

Taking to social media on Wednesday evening, Mzwanele Manyi announced that Roberts had joined the “winning team”.

“The one and only @kuliroberts has joined the winning team. Servant Kuli has signed up to serve the people of South Africa. Servant Kuli is ATM Councillor Candidate for Ward 65 in Tshwane. We wish her well,” Manyi tweeted.