Mkhize files another affidavit in his bid to quash Digital Vibes findings

Mkhize files another affidavit in his bid to quash Digital Vibes findings

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize has filed another affidavit in his fight to have the Digital Vibes report reviewed and set aside.

Mkhize, his family and close associates were implicated in the R150 million communications tender awarded to Digital Vibes by the Department of Health.

The investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) revealed 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.

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.

The former minister then resigned in August 2021 ahead of a  Cabinet reshuffle.

In his latest affidavit, the former minister accused the SIU of tackling its probe with a predetermined outcome, according to an eNCA report.

He further accused investigators of ignoring crucial evidence, including that that showed that a former health director-general played a major role in the awarding of the lucrative tender.

Mkhize first filed papers in December last year requesting the SIU to produce a Cabinet resolution that it says proves that he broke the law by awarding the National Health Insurance (NHI) communications contract to Digital Vibes when the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) could have done the job.

He wanted the SIU opposition of his court application dismissed should the investigative unit fail to produce the Cabinet resolution.

The SIU is opposing Mkhize’s motions to have the report set aside.

Mkhize ‘benefited’

Digital Vibes was initially contracted to handle the department’s NHI communication work, but its scope was later expanded to include work on the department’s Covid-19 campaigns.

The SIU filed a 90-page affidavit to the Special Tribunal in a bid to recover the R150 million paid to Digital Vibes.

The investigating unit has also recommended that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) consider charging Mkhize and his son, Dedani, for corruption over “suspicious payments” funnelled from Digital Vibes.

Mkhize is accused of putting pressure on the Department of Health to hire Digital Vibes and benefiting from R6,720 in repairs to his home, which was paid for by the company.

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