The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has confirmed it was investigating allegations that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s close associates benefited from COVID-19 tenders issued by the Health Department valued at more than R82m.
“We got the allegations from anonymous sources and we are clear that it falls within the proclamation that deals with COVID procurement and we have started the process of investigating,” a report in The Citizen quotes SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyango as saying.
It has been previously reported that a little-known communications company from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) called Digital Vibes appointed Mkhize’s long-time personal spokesperson and his former private secretary as consultants to work on its projects for the department’s communication services on COVID-19.
Kganyango said the SIU received an anonymous complaint about the tender recently. “This is an allegation that has been brought to our attention and we have started the investigation, therefore we cannot make any comment around anything at the moment until we have gathered all the facts,” he said.
According to a Beeld report, Mkhize has committed to an independent investigation requested by Health DG Sandile Buthelezi. Popo Maja, spokesperson of the Health Department, said Mkhize was supporting the investigation in the interests of clean governance and accountability.
However, Maja insisted that there was nothing untoward. “It is our opinion that there was no conflict of interest,” he is quoted as saying.
Mkhize says he welcomes the probe, according to TimesLIVE. "We very much support that as part of accountability and clean governance and ensuring compliance with the (Public Finance Management Act) and the Treasury regulations by the department," said Mkhize.
Full report in The Citizen (Open access)
Full Beeld report (Restricted access)
Full report in The Times (Open access)
See also MedicalBrief archives:Mkhize’s associates score from COVID-19 and NHI contracts