The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it will oppose a High Court application brought by former Health Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize to review the unit’s findings and recommendations relating to the R150 million Digital Vibes’ Health Department communications contract.

In part, the report alleges that the former Minister:

Personally received undue benefits by Digital Vibes after allegedly influencing the company’s appointment as a service provider.

His son is also alleged to have received large sums of cash from Digital Vibes through third party accounts and had R160 000 paid towards the purchase of a car for him.

Allegedly misleading the President and the nation by denying that neither he nor his family benefitted from the infamous contract.

Allegedly going against a Cabinet memorandum instructing the Government Communication and Information System to drive the National Health Insurance and COVID-19 awareness campaigns for government.

The SIU emphasised that Mkhize’s High Court application would not “suspend the implementation” of the report and neither would it automatically stop proceedings in the Special Tribunal to have the Digital Vibes contract set aside.

This, unless the former Minister chooses to have the Special Tribunal contract review proceedings temporarily halted by way of a stay of proceedings.

“On [Friday]… during a Case Management Meeting held in the Special Tribunal, the Special Tribunal made it clear that the SIU Review proceedings will continue uninterrupted by the… review application to be brought by Dr Mkhize, and that if [the former Minister] wanted to try to stay the SIU Review proceedings, then he would be required to apply for stay of those proceedings, which the SIU will oppose,” the unit said.

The SIU said it is aiming to recover monies lost as a result of the contract through proceedings at the Special Tribunal, “including a total amount of R 22 million that was already frozen by means of a Tribunal Order”.

One respondent in those proceedings has already paid back at least R11 million.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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