During the past 18 months, South Africa needed a reliable and incorruptible leader at the helm of the National Department of Health. Unfortunately, former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has recently been exposed to being closely associated with a corruption saga that involves the communication firm, Digital Vibes.
In May, the news broke of a 150 million ZAR contract scandal that was awarded to Digital Vibes by the Health Department of South Africa. Rajendra Chunilall, Principal Forensic Investigator as well as the Lead Investigator in the Special Investigation Unit’s (SIU) investigation into this scandal, has officially eradicated any remaining embers of hope that the country may have held regarding any involvement that Mkhize may have had in the scandal.
What happened, and what is next?
According to Chunilall’s affidavit, the investigations by the SIU have uncovered unwavering evidence of unconscionable abuse of the juristic personality regarding Digital Vibes as a separate entity.
There were impugned transactions that were carried out under circumstances that constitute corrupt activities, committed by both Mkhize as well as his son, Dedani, who are the fifth and sixth respondents, respectively.
The affidavit and the SUI’s investigation provides proof of an intricate web of deceit where Zweli Mkhize was the central component. In addition to this, the SIU has obtained further evidence that supports further contentions.
Mkhize approved a 46 million ZAR media campaign 52 days after a service level agreement (SLA) was signed between NDOH and Digital Vibes, followed by an additional 85 million ZAR six months after the SLA was signed.
In addition, Mkhize deliberately ignored a decision made by Cabinet in appointing Digital Vibes. The SIU contends that Mkhize’s denial that he and his family benefitted from the contract with Digital Vibes is “untrue.”
The investigation into criminal liability is still ongoing, and South Africans will have to wait for the judicial process to complete to see whether action will be taken. If found guilty, Mkhize and his corrupt medical cadres would have torn the Hippocratic Oath to shreds.