‘This is a great start’ — DA welcomes progress made by SIU in Digital Vibes probe

DA spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube has welcomed the progress made by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in its probe into the alleged dodgy contract between the health department and communications company Digital Vibes.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize was placed on special leave while the investigation into Digital Vibes continued.
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The SIU was recently granted a preservation order to freeze R22m held in bank and investment accounts linked to Digital Vibes.

Gwarube said the final report must be made public for accountability purposes.

“This is a great start. We hope that the SIU will finish its investigation by the end of June as they have committed. It’s important that their report is made public so we know who is to be held accountable for this unlawful contract and that public money is recovered ASAP,” she tweeted on Wednesday.

TimesLIVE reported that the Special Tribunal granted the order last week which prohibits Digital Vibes, individuals and companies associated with it from dealing with the funds held in the bank and investment accounts.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the preliminary investigation found two highly irregular and unlawful transactions between 2019 and 2020.

“The first transaction is a procurement process in 2019, in terms of which Digital Vibes was appointed to perform communications services relating to the National Health Insurance (NHI).

“The second transaction occurred in 2020, during the tenure of the first transaction, when Digital Vibes was ‘appointed’ in respect of a Covid-19 awareness campaign without any competitive bidding or other procurement process at all.”

Health minister Zweli Mkhize was put on special leave earlier this month, while the SIU conducted its investigations.

Daily Maverick reported that the department of health awarded a R150m tender to the company run by his associates Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha.

The minister distanced himself from the pair and denied benefiting from the millions awarded to Digital Vibes.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Cebelihle Bhengu

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