Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

No action just yet on Digital Vibes report, Ramaphosa signals

President Cyril Ramaphosa was confronted with questions about a possible cabinet reshuffle and his plans for suspended health minister Zweli Mkhize during a tour of Covid-19 vaccination sites on Thursday, but left journalists still guessing about his plans.

Ramaphosa has largely kept mum about a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report handed to him on 30 June, which should shed light on Mkhize’s role in the awarding of a R150-million communications contract to Digital Vibes, a company associated with his former spokesperson. Ramaphosa placed Mkhize on special leave in June.

Money from the contract was allegedly used to buy a vehicle for Mkhize’s son and to carry out repairs to a house owned by the Mkhize family in Johannesburg. The health minister has denied any wrongdoing.

“The report is with me. There are a few issues that need to be completed. And once all that has been done. I will come out and explain to the nation exactly how I will deal with that report. It is not a matter I’m going to sit on forever. It will come out, and we will be able to explain,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) said the delay on the SIU report sent out the wrong signal about Ramaphosa’s intentions.

“It appears as if the president is hesitant to disclose the report at this stage. The FF+ finds this totally unacceptable,” party spokesperson for health Philip van Staden said in a statement.

“Whoever is named in the report and possibly implicated in committing fraud and corruption must not only be disclosed, but must also face the punishment they deserve.”

Ramaphosa was equally reticent about whether he planned a cabinet reshuffle, in the aftermath of looting and vandalism in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng earlier this month, which critics say the police, army and intelligence were slow to respond to.

Those believed to be in the firing line include Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Mkhize.

“The issue of reconfiguring [the] cabinet is an ongoing consideration for any president,” Ramaphosa said in response to reporters’ questions on Thursday, as he toured a public health facility in Tembisa and a private-public partnership centre in Midrand where Covid-19 vaccination sites have been established. 

The president said South Africa’s national vaccination campaign was gaining momentum with the country having secured enough vaccines to increase its daily vaccination numbers.

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.

Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a junior daily news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She was previously a freelance journalist and a broadcaster at Maroela Media and Smile90.4FM.

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

‘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.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

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

The convenient myth of an Africa spared from Covid-19

There are few, if any, studies to support Pfizer chief executive’s assertion that the global south would be more vaccine-hesitant than the north

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…