SAFTU Zweli Mkhize

Former Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Photo: GCIS

Digital Vibes latest: Mkhize DODGES Parliament, cites ‘legal advice’

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize was set to face tough questions on the R150 million Digital Vibes contract in Parliament

SAFTU Zweli Mkhize

Former Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Photo: GCIS

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has opted not to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health on Friday morning, 4 June 2021, to answer to corruption allegations in the R150 million Digital Vibes contract.

The minister was expected to explain himself to MPs over the scandal, particularly in light of the undoubtedly damning allegations, which implicate both him and members of family in some level of wrongdoing.

Is Mkhize avoiding accountability in the Digital Vibes scandal?

Speaking at the start of the proceedings, the committee’s chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said Dr Zweli Mkhize’s decision to not attend follows legal advice on the Digital Vibes matter.

“I spoke to the minister last night and he indicated to me that he has been advised that because of this investigation against his department that also involves his name, he has been advised that legally it isn’t the correct thing to do, to be the one leading the delegation to brief us”

Chairperson of the Health Portfolio Committee, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo

“I therefore respected and accepted that and therefore we will have the DG (Director-General) explain and take us through the presentation”

It was learnt via Daily Maverick that two women linked to Mkhize – Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha benefited from Digital Vibes’ lucrative contract with the Department of Health by working for the company as paid consultants.

It is alleged that Digital Vibes wildly inflated the costs of setting up Mkhize’s briefings during the COVID-19 pandemic, with funds from the DoH funneled into a host of obscure third-party bank accounts. The minister has denied having any knowledge of these irregular processes, however, and further declared his innocence.

Now Mkhize has the tough task of explaining the recent developments, which pointed to him “profiting” from the contract.

  • Digital Vibes is alleged to have paid R300 000 to “All That Trading”, a company owned by his son, Dedani
  • The company is also said to have footed the bill for the maintenance work done on Mkhize’s plush townhouse in Bryanston, Johannesburg
  • Mkhize Jr. was also allegedly bought a R160 000 Toyota Land Cruiser by Digital Vibes