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DA to lay criminal charges against Zweli Mkhize for his alleged conduct in Digital Vibes scandal

03 June 2021 - 07:40 By cebelihle bhengu
The DA will lay a criminal complaint against health minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo.
The DA will lay a criminal complaint against health minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo.

The DA said on Wednesday it would lay criminal charges against health minister Zweli Mkhize.

This after revelations that his family may have benefited from proceeds of a R150m tender his department awarded to communications company Digital Vibes.

The company employed the minister's former spokesperson and alleged family friend, Tahera Mather, and his former assistant, Naadhira Mitha. 

“The DA will be laying criminal charges against Minister Mkhize and health director-general Dr Sandile Buthelezi with the SA Police Service (SAPS) tomorrow. Over and above the SIU probe, a criminal investigation needs to ensue,” said the DA.

The Sunday Times reported that questions are being raised about Mkhize's signature on contracts, which was flagged as irregular after an independent probe conducted by financial auditors and tax consultants Ngubane & Co. 

Buthelezi said it is not unusual for the minister to sign off contracts after they have been approved by the director-general. However, public service & administration minister Senzo Mchunu and Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane told the publication ministers do not sign off contracts related to procurement.

The DA said Mkhize and Buthelezi must be investigated and, if found guilty of contravening the law, be held to account. 

Last week, Mkhize denied benefiting from the contract and distanced himself from Mather and Mitha. 

The allegations were exposed by the Daily Maverick, which reported that Mkhize's son, Dedani, allegedly scored a Land Cruiser from Digital Vibes. The company also allegedly paid for maintenance work on a Johannesburg home allegedly owned by the Mkhize family.

The DA said the alleged conduct by the minister was “highly irregular” and constituted an abuse of power.