‘The minister has briefed me,’ says Ramaphosa as he awaits SIU report on Digital Vibes

28 May 2021 - 17:14
President Cyril Ramaphosa with France's President Emmanuel Macron at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, on May 28 2021. Ramaphosa asked to be given time to consider the allegations against health minister Zweli Mkhize.
President Cyril Ramaphosa with France's President Emmanuel Macron at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, on May 28 2021. Ramaphosa asked to be given time to consider the allegations against health minister Zweli Mkhize.
Image: Themba Hadebe/Pool via REUTERS

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has “briefed” President Cyril Ramaphosa on the Digital Vibes tender scandal, the president said on Friday.

Mkhize has been caught up in the scandal after a multimillion-rand tender was awarded to little-known company Digital Vibes, initially for communications around the National Health Insurance and later for Covid-19. The company subsequently brought in two individuals closely linked to Mkhize.

The revelations, first published by Daily Maverick, have resulted in calls for Mkhize to resign.

The health department this week admitted there were “glaring irregularities” in the awarding of the tender.

On Friday, Ramaphosa asked to be given time to consider the allegations against Mkhize.

Speaking during a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, Ramaphosa said: “The SIU is looking into this matter, so I am waiting for the SIU to finish their report. There has been a preliminary report and investigation at departmental level and the minister has briefed me. I am waiting to see how the SIU will conclude on this matter.”

Ramaphosa said he knew the matter was being treated seriously as the SUI was “working fast and feverishly to come up with a report”.

“Until that has been done, I would like to be given the time to consider what they will come up with and thereafter we will be able to handle the matter,” he said.

“I hear there are calls being made and I have heard them. I would like to see the SIU report and to look at the matter closely myself, and thereafter take the matter forward.”

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