Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has officially been placed on leave by President Ramaphosa, forcing the long-serving ANC stalwart to vacate his position in Cabinet on a temporary basis.
The decision came after Mkhize was implicated in a suspicious R150 million government contract with Digital Vibes.
The service provider is allegedly VERY cosy with the Mkhize family, and it’s understood that the firm have offered kickbacks to both Zweli and his son. With the pressure mounting, Minister Mkhize has not tendered his resignation and stated on Tuesday that he did not break any laws by signing off on the controversial deal.
However, a little over an hour after he addressed the media, Zweli Mkhize now finds himself stripped of his ministerial responsibilities. As we reported earlier, the 65-year-old will remain on ‘special leave’ until further notice.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will now act as Zweli Mkhize’s replacement, assuming the role in an acting capacity. She is another politician who has divided opinions during the pandemic, but Ramaphosa sees her as a practical solution for the weeks, possibly months ahead – the mix-up may bring forward a proposed Cabinet reshuffle.
The Presidency issued an official statement on the matter just moments ago:
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Tuesday 8 June 2021 placed Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize on special leave. This period of special leave will enable the Minister to attend to allegations and investigations concerning contracts between the Department of Health and a service provider, Digital Vibes.”
“The Special Investigating Unit is investigating this matter and the President awaits a report on the outcome of this probe. Minister of Tourism Ms. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will serve as Acting Minister of Health until further notice.”
President @CyrilRamaphosa has today, Tuesday, 08 June 2021 placed Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize on special leave.
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) June 8, 2021