Mkhize can't hide behind sub judice rule to avoid Parly - health committee told

Legal advisor Siviwe Njikela said the sub judice rule was established to protect the administration of justice but could never surpass the constitutional mandate of Parliament.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited the Northern Cape to assess the province's COVID-19 vaccine rollout on 8 June 2021. Picture: Northern Cape Department of Health.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s health committee has heard that Minister Zweli Mkhize cannot not rely on the sub judice rule to avoid discussing the Digital Vibes contract in Parliament.

Last week, Mkhize - who is on special leave - excused himself from the committee after receiving legal advice.

On Thursday, the committee received legal advice on the sub judice rule used by Mkhize and members of the African National Congress (ANC) in the committee.

The committee met to discuss several issues from vaccines to the sub judice rule and the Digital Vibes matter.

Legal advisor Siviwe Njikela said the rule was established to protect the administration of justice but could never surpass the constitutional mandate of Parliament.

“So, whatever the interpretation that we give to the sub judice rule, must be informed by the midi-tv standard and that most importantly, it can never trump the constitutional mandate of Parliament.”

Acting Health Minister Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngunabe said they had to avoid tampering with the process.

“Our responsibility, both as executive responsible for portfolio currently and accounting officer, is to ensure that we do not compromise the process”.

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