Mkhize may have acted criminally in Digital Vibes contract: SIU

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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize may have acted criminally in the appointment of a company linked to his associates to provide communication services to the department.

Digital Vibes was awarded a R150 million COVID-19 media campaign contract with the Department of Health.

The SIU has told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that Mkhize failed to act according to the constitution and the law and that his actions led to the department incurring irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Lead investigator in the case Johnny Le Roux says the SIU has referred seven matters to the Health Department for disciplinary action against officials.

The unit has also referred other matters to the NPA and the Hawks for possible criminal prosecution.

“Here we have referred 19 matters to the NPA on 8 July 2021 and it again involves senior management, middle management, junior management and private individuals. The charges range from fraud, corruption, money laundering and the progress is that criminal referral was submitted to the NPA or Hawks. The case has been registered in Pretoria and we are constantly meeting with Hawks on these matters,” says Le Roux.

SIU freezes bank accounts of individuals linked to Digital Vibes:

SIU assures safety for whistleblowers

SIU head, Andy Mothibi has sought to assure whistleblowers that his unit is committed to doing everything to ensure their safety. This follows the assassination of a key witness in an investigation into alleged personal protective equipment tender corruption in Gauteng.

Babita Deokaran was shot and killed on Monday morning in Johannesburg, in what is believed to have been a hit related to the investigation. Seven suspects have since been arrested in relation to her killing.

Mothibi has urged witnesses, who have concerns about their safety, to inform the SIU so that measures can be taken to protect them.

“Our cases stand or fall by the witnesses that we have. So we take the safety of the witnesses very seriously and we interact with them. We indicate to them in instances where they feel unsafe, let them notify the investigators and we will take action to ensure that they are protected, including invoking the witness protection programme that falls under the NPA,” says Mothibi.

SIU welcomes arrests in Babita Deokaran murder case: