Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SIU freezes R22-million in Digital Vibes accounts

The Special Tribunal, which is mandated to recover miss-spent public funds, was last week granted an urgent interim order freezing R22-million in bank and investment accounts linked to Digital Vibes. The communications company is under investigation for an irregular contract with the department of health, which has put suspended Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s political career in the balance.

The funds include some R3.5-million held in an account in the name of Suhaila Mather, the daughter of Tahera Mather, an associate of Mkhize who reportedly controlled Digital Vibes together with the minister’s former personal assistant Naadhira Mitha. 

The company was paid R150-million by the health department for communications work around the National Health Insurance initiative and the government’s Covid-19 response measures.

The order granted by Judge Lebogang Modiba also freezes R1-million in a bank account of a company called Strategeewhizz, which is registered in Mitha’s name, plus roughly R9-million held in four accounts in the name of WT Graphics and Designs, which is linked to one Wasim Mather.

Lastly, the order freezes R7.79-million in an account belonging to Amod Attorneys, whose sole director is listed as Ahmed Rashid Amod.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said it would now ask the Special Tribunal to have the Covid-19 media campaign contract awarded to Digital Vibes declared unlawful and invalid.

SIU spokesman Kaizer Kganyago declined to give any further comment at this stage as the investigation into the deal is ongoing. The company is alleged to have inflated prices for work done by subcontractors and to have charged the health department considerable sums for co-ordinating Mkhize’s media engagements during the pandemic.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he is expecting a report from the SIU by the end of this month, and would wait for this before making a decision on Mkhize’s future as a minister.

He placed Mkhize on special leave on 8 June as pressure grew following media reports of payments on behalf of his son, Dedani, by Digital Vibes, as well as repairs to a Johannesburg house owned by the minister’s trust.

Mather in 2017 ran the the media component of Mkhize’s failed campaign to become ANC president.

The order was made last week but the judge ruled that it may only be made public once it had been served on the respondents.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker

Cape Flats gangsters, children die in fight over turf

Extortion rackets are part of a corrupt system that includes religious leaders, councillors, police and syndicates

More top stories

Five things to watch in the Zambian elections

Zambia will hold presidential elections in three weeks’ time amidst an ongoing economic crisis and rising political tensions. These are the five most important things to look out for in the elections

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker

Alleged rhino-horn kingpin and big game hunter arrested for possession...

The case against the two men has been postponed to September

South Africa moves back to adjusted level 3, schools to...

Vaccination capacity to be increased as the government announces financial support measures for those affected by Covid-19 restrictions and the recent civil unrest

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…