SIU Mkhize

Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

SIU makes incriminating findings against Zweli Mkhize in Digital Vibes contract investigation

The Special Investigating Unit accuses Mkhize of unlawful and improper conduct in the controversial contract wants his family to repay just under R4m.

SIU Mkhize

Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

Health minister Zweli Mkhize and his son Dedani have reportedly been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to consider charging them for corruption over “suspicious” payments they received from Digital Vibes.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), seeking to recoup millions of rand spent on the controversial Digital Vibes contract, has accused Mkhize of unlawful and improper conduct for his role and wants his family to repay just under R4m.

This is contained in court papers the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) filed at the Special Tribunal on Thursday, where it is trying to recover R150m that was allegedly unlawfully paid by the department of health to Digital Vibes, a company owned by Mkhize’s close associate Tahera Mather.

According to the SIU, Mkhize received R6,720 from Digital Vibes, allegedly for maintenance at a Bryanston property, while his son received R3.8m. These monies allegedly amount to undue gratification as there is no evidence that they did any work for Digital Vibes.

Mkhize and his son are believed to be listed among 20 people to whom Digital Vibes paid R90m of the R150m the company received from their contract with the department of health, which the SIU contends was unlawful, invalid, and has to be set aside.

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The investigations revealed that there is no reasonable evidence why the listed individuals received payments from Digital Vibes, as they could not provide invoices and supporting documents.

According to Times Live, SIU lead investigator Rajendra Chunilall contends in her founding affidavit that evidence they have on the duo constitutes offences under several sections of the prevention and combating of corrupt activities act (Precca). She wants the NPA to consider bringing charges.

“The following funds directly or indirectly received by these parties from Digital Vibes constitute undue gratification or were transferred for purposes of money laundering or as the proceeds of unlawful activities and derive from the unlawful payments that Digital Vibes received from the NDOH in terms of the impugned transactions, which were made without any proof of goods, works of services (i.e. value) rendered by such parties in exchange for such funds (i.e. these parties were directly or indirectly unduly enriched to the ultimate detriment of the NDOH),” Chunilall contends in her affidavit.

Mkhize is alleged to have pressured senior officials to appoint Digital Vibes for the R150m communications contract.

The SIU is tasked mainly with recovering ill-gotten money from unlawful contracts, but in instances where it believes there is enough evidence for prosecution, it can refer cases to the NPA under sections 4(1)(d) and 4.2.

Chunilall said in the papers that the SIU’s investigations revealed evidence that the impugned transactions took place in circumstances constituting the commission of offences in terms, inter alia, section 3 read with sections 24 and 26 of the prevention and combating of corrupt activities act, 2004 (Act No 12 of 2004) committed by, inter alia, the fifth (Mkhize) and sixth (Dedani) respondents.

“This evidence has been referred to National Prosecuting Authority by the SIU in terms of sections 4(1)(d) and 4(2) of the SIU act.”

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