Phaahla: Health Dept keen to conclude Digital Vibes hearings swiftly

The minister was briefing the media on Thursday about the department’s response following the release of the report.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla at a briefing on 30 September 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that his department was anxious to conclude the disciplinary processes in the Digital Vibes matter.

Phaahla said that the suspensions of seven more officials who were implicated would result in lost capacity and affect service delivery.

The minister was briefing the media on Thursday about the department’s response following the release of the report.

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Phaahla said by the close of business on Thursday, the affected six officials in the Department of Health would be served with suspension letters pending disciplinary hearings.

He said that this must be done quickly so that the department could focus on more important programmes.

“We are anxious to conclude the disciplinary process as a matter of urgency to bring these matters to closure in order to dedicate our time, energy and resources on the country`s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister said.

Acting Director-General Dr Nicholas Crisp said that they would all be suspended with full pay: “Yes they are suspended on full pay. Remember these are people who are not found guilty, they haven’t even been charged with anything yet. They are purely on a precautionary basis asked to step aside so there can be no accusation of interference by them.”

The SIU has referred 18 matters for criminal prosecution, including department officials and the owners of Digital Vibes.

WATCH: Phaahla on Digital Vibes SIU report: Nothing will be swept under the carpet

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