On Tuesday, July 6, the Presidency received the final report on the controversial R150 million Digital Vibes contract from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). According to acting presidential spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, President Cyril Ramaphosa will study it and “keep the public abreast of developments in this matter.”
“It will do so in a manner that preserves information that may be or become the subject of prosecution, civil action or disciplinary proceedings,” Seale added.
Ramaphosa will therefore determine whether Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will either remain in his position or if he’ll be fired.
Digital Vibes stands accused of inflating prices and doing work that the department could have done internally IOL reports. It’s further alleged that Mkhize’s son, Dedani received a vehicle from the communications company, who also reportedly financed renovations for a house owned by Mkhize’s family trust.
SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago previously said that preliminary investigations had revealed distinct evidence that exposes two irregular and unlawful transactions.
“The first transaction is a procurement process in 2019 where Digital Vibes was appointed to perform communications services relating to the National Health Insurance (NHI). The second transaction occurred in 2020 during the tenure of the first transaction when Digital Vibes was ‘appointed’ in respect of a Covid-19 awareness campaign without any competitive bidding or other procurement process at all,” Kganyago said.
According to News24, the department paid R150 million to Digital Vibes – R25 million was paid in respect of the NHI media campaign and around R125 million for the Covid-19 appointment.
Meanwhile, while conducting the probe, the SIU was given the go-ahead to freeze R22 million in banking and investment accounts tied to Digital Vibes and people who had received payments from the company.
Mkhize is still on special leave pending the final outcome of the investigation.