By Kaya 959 News
Afriforum has lodged an official complaint with the Public Protector, calling for Dr. Zweli Mkhize to step aside.
The civil rights group submitted the complaint to the PP on Tuesday.
The call comes following revelations that two KwaZulu-Natal-based women, former close associates of Mkhize’s, secured a lucrative, multi-million Rand tender from the Department of Health.
Afriforum’s Johan Kruger said they are calling for Mkhize to step aside until the Special Investigating Unit has finalised its probe into his knowledge of alleged corruption and looting of public funds.
Kruger said the ANC must start actively eradicating the corruption pandemic within its ranks.
“The ANC should have Dr Zweli Mkhize step aside pending the outcome of the investigation against him. Anything less would be tantamount to a betrayal of the communities who suffer under the COVID pandemic,” he said.
Kruger said taxpayers are at breaking point yet are confronted daily with reports of new looting sprees by ANC officials.
“The ANC government clearly does not realise what levels of frustration exist among taxpayers. AfriForum is inundated by perplexed communities who are actively investigating tax revolts,” he said.
He said the allegations are serious and do not bode well for the National Health Insurance.
“The looting of resources at the first opportunity during a pandemic does indeed predict what can be expected when resources are managed centrally if and when NHI becomes a reality,” he said.
Digital Vibes is a media company run by Mkhize’s former personal spokesperson, Tahera Mather and his former personal assistant, Naadhira Mitha.
The company was awarded a R150 million tender for services linked to the National Health Insurance and later the roll-out of communications around COVID-19.
Thus far, it has been revealed that about R90m of the R150m was funneled to entities set up by both women to business and personal accounts of some of Mather’s immediate family.
Funds were also channeled to suspicious third parties.
A further R40m was used for legitimate service providers and other costs related to the department’s contract. R20m is not accounted for.
The department this week admitted to ‘glaring irregularities’ with Digital Vibes’s procurement.
In a statement, the department confirmed that the decision for the investigation to be conducted externally by entities with the necessary capacity, was important as it has unveiled some glaring irregularities that will certainly have to be responded to/action taken against.
The department defended its silence on the matter, pleading for more time to respond to the allegations.
“The non-response to various media queries by the department and the minister is out of ensuring that there is no interference with the ongoing investigations,” the department said.
Digital Vibes is accused of charging the department millions of Rands for scheduling media briefings for Mkhize as well as interviews and other engagements related to the coronavirus pandemic.
They are further accused of inflating bills for NHI-related projects.
The department confirmed that interviews were conducted between people involved and already, various actions to uncover the details into the allegations have already been embarked on.
“At this stage we can only confirm that the decision for the investigation to be conducted externally by entities with the necessary capacity was important as it has unveiled some glaring irregularities that will certainly have to be responded to/ action taken against,” it said.