What you said: Suspending ministers is not enough

03 August 2021 - 09:00 By kyle zeeman
An investigation into an alleged "dodgy" tender at the health department led to health minister Zweli Mkhize's suspension.
An investigation into an alleged "dodgy" tender at the health department led to health minister Zweli Mkhize's suspension.
Image: WERNER HILLS

The list of ministers who face suspension or are suspended from their duties has sparked debate.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize is one of the most recent ministers to be suspended, after he was placed on special leave in June, pending an investigation into an alleged “dodgy” contract between the health department and service provider Digital Vibes.

Mkhize denied benefiting personally from the contract and distanced himself from individuals implicated in the scandal, but the Sunday Times reported this past weekend that he had allegedly received R6,720 and is alleged to have contravened the Prevention & Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and Public Finance Management Act.

TimesLIVE ran a poll this week asking readers if they felt suspending a minister was enough.

81% said it was not, and ministers should be fired immediately if they are implicated in wrongdoing.

10% said they were innocent until proven guilty, while 9% said the president should come up with other measures.

On social media, Morwesi Phume suggested that Ramaphosa suspend ministers without pay.

“Then they will come out and snitch on each other. Mr President, do the right thing and you will see just how easy your job will be.”

Ankel Sbu Jay said suspensions were a process to allow those accused to present their side of the story, and due process must be followed.

“Suspensions are part of the process. They are not the final act of remedy ... We can't expect ministers to be fired without getting a proper chance to 'tell their side'. If that happened we would find ourselves in a situation where others just accuse those they don't like and get them fired.”


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