President Cyril Ramaphosa has now placed Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's Health Minister, on special leave after the Digital Vibes scandal was uncovered which alleges that Mkhize benefitted millions.
A statement released by the Presidency read:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Tuesday, 08 June 2021 placed Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize on special leave.
This time which the Minister is set to be on special leave will be used so that Mkhize can attend to allegations and investigations concerning contracts between the Department of Health and a service provider, Digital Vibes.
“The Special Investigating Unit is investigating this matter and the President awaits a report on the outcome of this probe,” the Presidency said.
Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, is set to step in as Acting Minister of Health until further notice.
With many calls coming for the Minister to resign, but no official discussions have taken place on this, according to Mkhize.
During a media briefing, Mkhize said:
I have made sure the president is fully briefed on everything and if there is any issue that needs to be discussed, I am always available.
Digital Vibes, which sees itself as a marketing company, is owned by people Mkhize himself called "fellow comrades". There have also been reports that those close to Mkhize, even his son, have benefitted from this company and pulled in millions.
Mkhize continued to apologise for the scandal but made sure to say, "There was no personal benefit in this regard".
I take personal responsibility for the public outrage that has been caused by this Digital Vibes contract. Also, want to state it upfront, I do not in any way undermine the voices, the views, the disappointment, the anger and the calls of accountability that have been made.
He said further that this has "tainted the teamwork of government".
The Auditor-General marked a contract between Digital Vibes and Government as irregular and potentially wasteful spending.