Home corruption DA calls for criminal investigations to be launched against Mkhize, senior Health...

DA calls for criminal investigations to be launched against Mkhize, senior Health officials

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The DA has urged the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) to institute criminal investigations against former health minister Zweli Mkhize and three top officials of the Health Department following the release of the Digital Vibes report by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

Former minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

THE DA has urged the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) to institute criminal investigations against former health minister Zweli Mkhize and three top officials of the Health Department following the release of the Digital Vibes report by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

DA health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report into Digital Vibes shows the depth of corruption in the governing party.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has sat on the report for a full three months and has used delaying tactics to not make it public. President Ramaphosa must take full accountability for this scandal. He publicly thanked former minister Zweli Mkhize when he stepped down in light of this scandal, despite having this report in his possession and knowing the scathing contents thereof.

“We call on the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue criminal investigations and prosecutions against the ’Digital Vibes 4′ which includes Mkhize, director-general Dr Sandile Buthelezi as well as the deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay and the department’s CFO, Ian Van Der Merwe,” Gwarube said.

She said that on June 3 the DA laid criminal charges against both Mkhize and Buthelezi, and they are calling on the police to give them feedback on their criminal charges and to supplement their investigation to include Pillay and Van der Merwe who have been identified by this report.

“The DA also calls on the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, to clean up the rot in the Department of Health with the immediate removal of all those implicated in the Digital Vibes corruption scandal pending a criminal investigation.

“The report has confirmed what we have always known: that all those who have been implicated in this corruption scandal must be criminally investigated and prosecuted.

“The SIU report, which was a culmination of an investigation into the awarding of the Digital Vibes contract, which was deemed irregular, has proven that many within the Department of Health, including former minister Mkhize and senior management, were involved in the awarding of this contract and are possibly guilty of corruption.

“Instead of taking action against Mkhize and Health Department officials when the irregularities were first flagged, the president chose to conceal this report from the public in order to hide away this abhorrent and brazen display of ANC corruption,” Gwarube said.

She said the DA lodged a PAIA application on July 27 to gain access to the SIU report.

“Last month, the Presidency requested an extension of 30 days to engage with the people implicated in the report. The president continues to seek political solutions for criminal problems. This flies in the face of every commitment that the president and the ANC government have made about fighting corruption.

“In fact, based on this government’s track record, it is clear that they have become the home of the corrupt and unscrupulous.

“Key findings from the SIU report demonstrate how deeply the rot of corruption has seeped into the workings of the Department of Health.”

According to the DA, the findings include the following:

That former minister Mkhize lied about not having benefited from the Digital Vibes contract.

In fact, both he and his son benefited according to the SIU.

R300 000 was transferred to Mkhize’s son.

R160 000 transferred to a car dealership.

The car was registered in the name of Mkhize’s son.

Digital Vibes paid for repairs to Mkhize’s home while he was still minister.

Political Bureau

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