Wednesday is D-Day for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to hand over its report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on the R150 million contract awarded to Digital Vibes by the national Department of Health.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told the publication they were on course to hand over their final report to the Presidency.
“Our deadline is today up until 12 midnight. Remember this is a deadline we put to ourselves, it’s not like somebody else did. Now we have to give the report to the president today,” Kganyago said.
The SIU said earlier this month its investigation into the contract were at a critical stage amid claims that now suspended Health Minister Zweli Mkhize pressured senior officials in his department to appoint the company run by his close associates, Taheera Mather and Naadhira Mitha.
Kganyago said going forward it would be up to Ramaphosa to decide how to proceed with the report.
“The law is very clear that our report is admitted to the Presidency and it’s up to them to decide. If they request us to release it we will, but if they want to do it the other way round, it’s up to them because they’re the custodians of the report,” he said.
Ramaphosa placed Mkhize on special leave this month after he was implicated in the awarding of the controversial contract. The Presidency said this was for the SIU to conclude its investigations.
Mkhize had conceded the department’s investigation found the tender bidding process followed was irregular but denied he personally benefitted from the contract.
This was despite reports that his son was bought a second-hand Toyota Land Cruiser by Digital Vibes. The Sunday Times also reported at the weekend Mkhize is directly implicated in the SIU report.
Digital Vibes, a little-known communication company, was awarded a contract for communications focusing on the health department’s Covid-19 campaigns. The company was initially contracted to handle the department’s National Health Insurance communications work.
Since allegations of corruption involving Digital Vibes were exposed, the Special Tribunal granted the SIU a preservation order to freeze R22 million in a bank account linked to Digital Vibes.
This included banking and investment accounts connected to Digital Vibes and individuals associated with the company.
Last week Kganyago said the SIU would launch review proceedings of the tender process in the Special Tribunal within a month after preliminary investigations revealed two highly irregular and unlawful transactions connected to the Digital Vibes contracts.
The unit said it would also seek an order against Digital Vibes and other relevant entities and individuals to pay back all financial losses suffered by the state.
Apart from civil legal outcomes, the SIU can refer evidence pointing to criminal conduct to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution.
The unit can also refer evidence in support of disciplinary, administrative or executive actions to the relevant authorities for further action.
In other news – Video: Police officers beaten up by residents for warning them against public drinking and blocking the road
Police management have condemned the attack on cops which was filmed and circulating on social media. The video shows cops being pounced on by a group of young people in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the incident happened near a tavern in Fingo Village on Monday, 14 June. Kinana said police were on patrol when they saw a group of people playing loud music and blocking the road. When the police asked the people to move out of the way, they were attacked. Learn More