S.Africans too conscious of corruption to believe Mkhize - political economist

Political economist Dale McKinley told Eyewitness News that Health Minister Mkhize was too experienced a politician not to have known that conflict of interest issues would arise over the Digital Vibes contracts.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered a speech at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg where the country’s first COVID-19 patient was treated. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Political economist Dale McKinley said that it was simply insufficient for Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to exempt himself from all responsibility regarding the irregular contract issued to his associates by the department.

This followed the minister's briefing on Wednesday in which he distanced himself from the Digital Vibes scandal that once again raised serious concerns about how public finances were being handled during the pandemic.

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McKinley said that South Africans were too conscious about corruption to believe Minister Mkhize’s version of events regarding the Digital Vibes scandal.

The communications company, owned by Mkhize’s associates and former subordinates, was awarded contracts worth over R100 million after providing questionable services.

McKinley told Eyewitness News that Mkhize was too experienced a politician not to have known that conflict of interest issues would arise.

“This is what we demand of our officials and politicians and when we see them not doing that, we lose respect, and they lose legitimacy and I think they must understand that the longer this kind of thing continues, the worse it's going to get. Own up, be honest, take the hit, and then we can move on," McKinley said.

Mkhize has claimed that he had nothing to do with the procurement process that led to the contract being awarded to Digital Vibes. He also said the company owners were his comrades and not his associates.

WATCH: Mkhize denies benefitting from 'irregular' Digital Vibes contract

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