Sunday Times Politics Weekly

PODCAST | Another Covid-19 corruption scandal: Is it naïve to expect politicians to be ethical?

11 June 2021 - 14:45 By Mike Siluma and Paige Muller
Did health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize step aside or was he thrust aside?
Did health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize step aside or was he thrust aside?
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Another week passes in SA, and with it another Covid-19 corruption allegation rears its ugly head, this time in relation to the mass sanitising of Gauteng schools in 2020.

The presses are still hot with the news of health minister Zweli Mkhize’s special leave over the controversial R150m Digital Vibes contract.

As the country grew accustomed to that news, yet another allegation of fraud and corruption related to SA’s handling of the pandemic has arisen.

In a matter of weeks, the directors of seven companies contracted to decontaminate Gauteng schools during last year’s Covid-19 lockdown blew through more than R40m in a spending spree that included designer watches, jewellery, luxury cars, plastic surgery, investment policies and paying off home loans.

This is according to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which wants the R63.5m paid to the companies returned, claiming the contracts were irregularly awarded by senior Gauteng education officials.

Were the schools sanitised at all? No one seems to know. The only thing that is clear is that the money is gone, and there is no proof of work having been done. 

In this week’s episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we confront the latest allegations, and check in with our disgraced health minister. 

Join the discussion here: 

What you will hear: 

(01:08) Zweli Mkhize going on special leave can he make a comeback?

(10:30) We look at the Gauteng school sanitisation scandal, and follow the trail of the looted money.

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