South Africa: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize Goes On Special Leave in Wake of Digital Vibes Revelations

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (file photo).
analysis

Zweli Mkhize has been put on special leave by President Ramaphosa and will present himself to the party's Integrity Commission. Was he pushed to take leave or did he ask?

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has been placed on special leave by President Cyril Ramaphosa and will present himself to the party's Integrity Commission in relation to the R150-million Digital Vibes contract.

Mkhize told reporters in the Northern Cape, where he was inspecting vaccination sites, that he had requested special leave.

"This period of special leave will enable the minister to attend to allegations and investigations concerning contracts between the Department of Health and a service provider, Digital Vibes," said a statement released by Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is attending a G7 Summit in the UK from 11 to 13 June where the long tale of a health minister caught in a brazen story of Covid-19 corruption could haunt his image as a reformer. South Africa is one of four additional countries invited to the big power bloc summit where issues including vaccine equity, funding for the Covid-19 recovery and taxation are on the agenda.

In addition, the ANC welcomed Mkhize's decision to present himself to the Integrity Commission, the party's internal ethics...

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