By Kaya 959 Reporter
President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially released the findings of a damning Special Investigating Unit report into the Digital Vibes saga.
The report implicates high-level employees within the National Department of Health of corruption and maladministration.
Earlier this year, a probe was launched after allegations surfaced that a multi-million Rand tender was awarded to a communications company managed by former associates of ex-Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
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.
Mkhize was placed on special leave by President Cyril Ramaphosa pending the outcome of the investigation. He later resigned.
DoH Director General Dr Sandile Buthelezi was recently placed on precautionary suspension.
Deviation from standard processes
Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha were cited as close associates of Mkhize. The report states that the department tried to appoint Mather as an expert communicator, however, it fell through as it did not satisfy the supply chain management process.
The report also found that Mkhize had put pressure on the department to award the tender to Digital Vibes.
Furthermore, former DoH acting director, Dr Anban Pillay, was seen as the main player who looked to deviate from standards processes to award Digital Vibes the contract.
The report also states that other companies that bid for the tender did not get the same preferential treatment as Digital Vibes.
Other roleplayers named in the report include DoH communications head, Popo Maja, and Shireen Pardesi.
Public release of report welcomed
Political parties have welcomed the release of the report.
The DA has called on newly appointed Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla to clean up the rot in the department.
“He must immediately remove all those implicated in the Digital Vibes corruption scandal pending a criminal investigation,” said the party’s Shadow Minister on Health, Siviwe Gwarube.
The IFP said attention must also be drawn to the fact that none of these fund transfers were flagged by the financial sector.
The EFF said it will not allow the current government to tie criminal activities of such magnitude and to some individuals whilst others who are also involved, are getting away consequence-free.