Ntshavheni: If Mkhize is found wanting in Digital Vibes probe, he will be fired

She was responding to calls from the DA’s Geordin Hill-Lewis for his removal during a political debate at the Black Business Council’s 2021 summit.

FILE: Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said if the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found Health Minister Zweli Mkhize wanting in its corruption probe within his department, he would be removed.

She was responding to calls from the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Geordin Hill-Lewis for his removal during a political debate at the Black Business Council’s 2021 summit on Thursday.

Ntshavheni said there could not be an expectation for the minister to be removed without evidence.

Pressure has been mounting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to axe Mkhize in the wake of the Digital Vibes corruption scandal, which involved his long-time associates and his son.

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Ntshavheni was representing the ANC’s deputy secretary-general at the summit and also called for the SIU to be given time to complete its work when it comes to Mkhize.

She used axed Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku as an example, arguing that despite how good he was on the job, when the SIU found him wanting, the premier took action.

Ntshavheni said no other party was as serious about tackling corruption than the ANC.

“We are saying that anybody will be prosecuted and everybody will be removed where there is evidence and have been charged because we need to clean the system.”

While she hit out at the DA’s own inconsistent approach to its leaders over its qualification scandal, Ntshavheni said South Africa must have an important conversation about the racialisation of corruption.

“The Steinhoff guy has not been told he is corrupt. Instead, he says he has done misrepresentation. But if it was a black person, it would have been called corruption.”

The summit will wrap up with a gala dinner on Thursday evening

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