Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Ramaphosa insists Digital Vibes matter is ‘on my desk’

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening said that he would await the outcome of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into the Digital Vibes contract before deciding Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s fate, but insisted it would not be swept under the carpet.

“This matter is on my desk,” Ramaphosa replied, when he was repeatedly pressed on the scandal during an engagement with journalists at Parliament.

“Given what has been reported, the minister and all that, shouldn’t he take a leave of absence, be suspended? These are matters that obviously have to be looked at,” he added. “I have said I would like this process to ensue and would like people to trust and believe that I am handling this matter, and will handle it to finality, because it is concerning.” 

Ramaphosa remarked that he has “tended to be careful” when dealing with allegations of corruption. 

He reiterated that he had spoken to Mkhize, and added: “There is full co-operation from the minister.”

But Ramaphosa conceded that he did not know about the alleged payment of R7 000 for renovations at a property in Bryanston owned by a Mkhize trust, or generous donations to the minister’s son from those involved in Digital Vibes until this was reported in the Daily Maverick.

“It is concerning and I raised it frontally because of its importance and … this matter is not going to be swept under the carpet, it will be dealt with as it should in terms of our principles; in terms of our value system that we want to inculcate and imbed in our governance processes,” the president said.

“So rest assured that this matter is going to be handled in a way that will give credence to our adherence to the principle of good governance — ethical leadership as well. That is a must and it is going to happen.”

The SIU on Wednesday told parliament’s watchdog standing committee on public accounts that its investigation should be completed by the end of June.

Mkhize has denied that he benefited from the company’s R150-million communications’ contract with the health department. 

The affair poses a particular headache for Ramaphosa, who in April admitted at the Zondo commission that the abuse of state funding spent on health contracts linked to the Covid-19 pandemic had been a painful reckoning for the governing party and the government.

Subscribe for R500/year

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 and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

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

Advertising

Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

More top stories

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

Farmers squeezed by big retailers

It may be beneficial for consumers when supermarkets push to get the lowest price from suppliers, but it can harm the farmers

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×