Dr Zweli Mkhize may be temporarily out of cabinet, over the controversial R150 million Digital Vibes contract, the Democratic Alliance (DA) isn’t done yet with the minister and intends laying a complaint with Parliament’s Ethics Committee.
“Reports have indicated that Minister Mkhize personally signed off on the submission that contained the contract to this company ran and owned by close associates of his,” the DA’s Siviwe Gwarube said.
According to the opposition party, Dr Zweli Mkhize has violated his oath of office by using his cabinet post to “improperly advantage” his son’s interests.
Daily Maverick found that in addition to being run by two of Mkhize’s associates, Digital Vibes also paid R300 000 to a company owned by his son, Dedani and bought him a R160 000 Toyota Land Cruiser.
“The DA is of the view that Minister Mkhize’s conduct may be in contravention Section 5.2.2 of the Code which states that a Member may ‘not use his or her influence as a public representative in his or her dealings with an organ of State in such a manner as to improperly advantage the direct personal or private financial or business interests of such Member or any immediate family of that Member or any business partner of that Member or the immediate family of that Member’”
“The possible contravention of Section 5 by the Minister is a serious offence and Parliament’s Ethics Committee is duty-bound to, as a matter of urgency, investigate this matter,” Gwarube said.
“The Portfolio Committee on Health has failed to do its work in holding Minister Mkhize to account as the ANC has used their majority to close ranks and prevent the Minister from facing the music last week during the committee’s meeting”
President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Mkhize on special leave, pending a probe by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
“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 presidency said.