Mkhize exits but still many questions around Digital Vibes tender scandal

While Zweli Mkhize resigned as health minister after initially denying any wrongdoing in the awarding of the irregular contract to Digital Vibes, a number of officials are still facing disciplinary hearings and possible criminal prosecution.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addressed a virtual meeting on 4 August 2020. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - There are still questions about the R150 million Digital Vibes communications tender, which has been one of the biggest government scandals this year.

Investigations into the irregular contract for National Health Insurance and COVID-19 related communications also led to the resignation of then-Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

While Mkhize was the main character as the political head, he was not the only one implicated in what the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) also flagged as criminal conduct.

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Mkhize's successor Dr Joe Phaahla told Parliament in a written reply that four officials from the national Department of Health had been suspended and were currently undergoing a disciplinary hearing.

Phaahla also revealed to Parliament that the qualifications of team members and individuals of Digital Vibes were not vetted.

While Mkhize resigned after initially denying any wrongdoing in the awarding of the irregular contract to Digital Vibes, a number of officials are still facing disciplinary hearings and possible criminal prosecution.

The SIU had recommended that criminal charges be pursued against Health Director-General Dr Sandile Buthelezi and former acting Director-General, Dr Anban Pillay.

Evidence obtained also indicated that close Mkhize associates and Digital Vibes owners, Tahera Mather and Nadiraa Mitha, committed fraud.

Earlier this month, the Presidency said that President Cyril Ramaphosa was studying the report and would keep the public abreast of any developments.

All eyes are on next year to see who will be arrested and charged after more than a year of no action.