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SIU: Zweli Mkhize’s resignation will not hamper probe into Digital Vibes matter

The head of the special investigating unit (SIU), Advocate Andy Mothibi on Wednesday told Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) that Dr Zweli Mkhize’s resignation from the position of health minister will not hamper its probe into the Digital Vibes matter.

Mkhize recently resigned as health minister and announced that he would approach the courts to have the SIU report implicating him in the Digital Vibes matter reviewed.

According to the report’s findings, the former minister and his family benefited R4 million from the R150 million Digital Vibes contract.

On Wednesday, Mothibi said even though the SIU has submitted its final report on the investigation, it continues to receive allegations on the matter which are being investigated.

Mothibi clarified to the committee that the SIU has found evidence that Mkhize “may have committed criminal acts” in the Digital Vibes matter and that this evidence was still being evaluated.

The SIU hopes that once all the evidence on the Digital Vibes matter has been evaluated charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering will be laid against implicated parties, Mothibi said.

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Mothibi also told the committee that the SIU is currently working with the national prosecuting authority (NPA) and the Hawks on investigations into the irregularity in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and that “very soon we will see the results of those investigations”.

Mothibi further told the committee that the SIU is of the view that the evidence before the special tribunal is sufficient to ensure that the Digital Vibes contract is set aside.

The rampant corruption witnessed in the procurement of PPE was a result of a culture of impunity, which must be eradicated, Mothibi said.

Money lost as a result of the corruption should be recovered, where necessary, disciplinary proceedings should be instituted against implicated persons and those who must be held accountable for the corruption should be, either through prosecutions or internal disciplinary proceedings, Mothibi said.

“Consequence management really has to be executed,” Mothibi said.

Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the committee would write to all the departments and municipalities where SIU investigations into PPE corruption are underway to request for a progress report on the disciplinary processes.

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