Even though he has denied it countless times, it has been revealed that Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize actually benefitted from the Digital Vibes deal with the Health Department. This was revealed on Saturday in media reports that Mkhize not only benefitted from the R150 million deal between his department and the media company, but his son and his wife also benefitted from same.
In an exclusive report, the investigative unit of Daily Maverick, the Scorpio, showed that the company, Digital Vibes, paid the bill for work that was done at one of his properties in Bryanston, a suburb in the north of Johannesburg. It is reported that Digital Vibes made at least two payments amounting to R 7 000 in settlement of invoices that had been raised by an electrical contractor that had done work at the Bryanston townhouse belonging to the minister. In addition, the company also paid at least R300 000 to a company that is owned by Mkhize’s son. The payment, which was made in May 2020, was made to a company called All Out Trading, which is wholly owned by the minister’s 33-year-old son, Dedani Mkhize.
Turning to the company Digital Vibes, it is reported that the company is under the control of two people that Mkhize refers to as comrades but not friends. These are Tahera Mather, who is his former personal spokesperson and Naadhira Mitha, who was also closely linked to the Health Minister. Mitha used to be Mkhize’s personal assistant. The two are, however, not listed as directors of the company, Digital Vibes.
The contract that Digital Vibes managed to get from the Health Department has to do with National Health Insurance, whereupon they were meant to provide services. It was also meant to provide services linked to the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A forensic investigation by the Ngubane Tax Assurance Advisory Firm, which was finalized earlier in the week and was announced by Mkhize himself, found that the tender bidding process was in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act and also that the appointment of the service provider was irregular. Another important finding of the forensic investigation was that there was no disclosure of conflict of interest. On his take of the whole situation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he was waiting for the conclusion from the Special Investigative Unit and then he would look at the matter more closely himself.