DA, Cope, Good want those implicated in Digital Vibes report held accountable

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Siviwe Gwarube said that new Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, needed to act swiftly on recommendations included in this report.

Digital Vibes boss Tahera Mather (L) and former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Tahera Mather/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties said that no one implicated in the Special Investigating Unit (SIU)'s report on the Digital Vibes saga should escape accountability.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) held a short briefing after the report was published on Wednesday.

The party has called for criminal investigations against former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, suspended Health Director-General Dr Sandile Buthelezi, chief financial officer, Ian van der Merwe, and Dr Anban Pillay, who was the acting DG during the COVID-19 media campaign.

The report documents happenings around multi-million rand health contracts awarded to a company fronting on behalf of the then-health minister's close associates.

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The DA’s Siviwe Gwarube said that new Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, needed to act swiftly on recommendations included in this report.

“The reality is that now there are three senior managers, including the DG and the CFO and the DDG within his department, who have been implicated in an SIU report. It cannot be that those three people are now still sitting in their positions. There needs to be an urgent removal of those people pending a criminal investigation.”

There are frustrations from several other political parties which have complained of the long delay before President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to make the report public.

READ: SIU report on Digital Vibes

SIU report into Digital Vib... by Primedia Broadcasting

The Congress of the People (Cope) has accused Ramaphosa of resisting pressure to release the report in order to "panel beat" some of its findings.

The party's Dennis Bloem said that it was time that law enforcement got involved: “We demand that all those fingered in this report must be immediately criminally charged from the former minister of health, Zweli Mkhize, to the lowest official in the department. We are looking at the law enforcement agencies to act.”

The Good Party's Brett Herron said that it was essential if corruption was going to be stamped out that there was always complete transparency.

"There should be no place to hide for those who concoct corrupt schemes… and this publication of this report shines light directly on those who need to be shamed."

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