Opposition MPs call on Mkhize not to hide behind sub judice rule over scandal

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was supposed to lead a delegation on Friday to discuss the Digital Vibes scandal with MPs but he wrote to the chairperson on Thursday night informing him that he had received legal advice not to appear.

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CAPE TOWN - Angry opposition MPs have called on embattled Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to "step up" and not hide behind the sub judice rule.

Some members of the health committee were unhappy about Mkhize's no-show at a meeting on Friday morning.

The minister was supposed to lead a delegation to discuss the Digital Vibes scandal with MPs but he wrote to the chairperson on Thursday night informing him that he had received legal advice not to appear.

As the minister was a no-show at Friday morning's meeting after receiving legal advice not to appear, members of the committee then clashed after the African National Congress (ANC) MPs called for the meeting to be called off.

ANC committee member Tshilidzi Munyai said that the issue to be discussed was sub judice, as in Mkhize and his Director-General Sandile Buthelezi were under investigation.

"This matter seems to be reported before the court of law by the Democratic Alliance's honourable Gwarube, therefore it is sub judice. Also, the DG is a factor in the case opened up at the Cape Town police station," Munyayi said.

But the Democratic Alliance's Siviwe Gwarube and other opposition MPs objected.

"Those two things are not a court of law and the rule of being sub judice only relates to a matter being in front of a court of law, that's the first thing and I think it is a technical matter that needs to be noted very carefully," Gwarube said.

Buthelezi eventually joined the virtual meeting, telling MPs that the Special Investigating Unit report into the debacle still had to be finalised.

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