Herman Mashaba 'disappointed' Ramaphosa made no mention of Digital Vibes in ‘family meeting’
Action SA leader Herman Mashaba was left disappointed on Sunday after president Cyril Ramaphosa made no mention of the Digital Vibes scandal in which health minister Zweli Mkhize is implicated.
Ramaphosa gave South Africans an update on the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the progress made so far with the second phase of vaccinations against the disease.
“I hope the presidency touches on the issue we read about the minister of health in today's family meeting. SA is far behind with the vaccination rollout,” said Mashaba before Ramaphosa's address.
After the address, Mashaba expressed his disappointment that Ramaphosa did not mention the Digital Vibes scandal.
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said last week the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was probing the Digital Vibes tender and would release a full report to the public when the investigation had been completed.
She was giving an update on the outcomes of the latest cabinet meeting. Asked whether the minister would step aside pending the investigation, Ntshavheni said the cabinet was in no position to weigh in on the matter as a decision depended on discussions between the health minister and Ramaphosa.
Politicians, civil rights organisations and citizens have called for the minister's head since a report by the Daily Maverick revealed that the health department awarded a R150m contract to Digital Vibes.
This is a communications company in which his alleged family friend and long-serving spokesperson Tahera Mather and his former assistant Naadhira Mitha were employed. Responding in a media briefing last week, Mkhize denied that Mather and Mitha are his friends.
The health department responded to the allegations and noted what it called “glaring irregularities” with the contract, but would not comment further as the investigation is ongoing. The department asked for more time before it could respond publicly to the allegations.