Probe Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's appointment of his niece as his chief of staff - DA

2020-01-27 20:15
Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize. (Deaan Viver, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize. (Deaan Viver, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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The DA wants a probe into Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's appointment of his niece as his chief of staff.

On Monday morning, the Citizen reported that Mkhize appointed Sibusisiwe Ngubane Zulu as his chief of staff. She is a qualified advocate. Mkhize has, through a spokesperson, defended the appointment.

Last year, allegations against her from her time as a board member of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) emerged from a whistleblower. It was alleged that businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi's romantic relationship with Zulu had helped him clinch deals with the PIC.

Appearing before the PIC inquiry in March last year, Mulaudzi confirmed that he was in a romantic relationship with Zulu, but that his dealings with the PIC predated their relationship. He called the allegations "false and a fabrication", Fin24 reported.

DA health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said in a statement on Monday that her party will request an urgent investigation by the Public Service Commission (PSC) into Zulu's appointment.

READ | 5 things to watch out for in Parliament in 2020

"It is essential that the appointment of a family member that has been suspected of corruption is investigated thoroughly in order to ascertain whether due process relating to recruitment procedures were complied with," Gwarube said.

She noted that Zulu was "fingered in the mismanagement and misappropriation of billions of rands" while we were working for the PIC.

"While these allegations have never amounted to criminal charges levelled against Zulu, her appointment in the Minister's office is deeply problematic," Gwarube said.

"This appointment further proves why the DA's fight against a National Health Insurance Board that will be appointed by the Minister is fully justified. Any decent governance models would dictate that appointments of a board that is set to manage a multi-billion fund should be independent of politicians. Mkhize's brazen appointment of his family member is clearly a sign of things to come."

"Cadre deployment has seeped deep into the ANC's culture [and] we can't ever allow the political elite to simply make appointments unchecked."

This follows a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter said the practice of parachuting poorly qualified, but politically connected people into key positions will come to an end.

About a year ago, while still minister of cooperative government and traditional affairs, Mkhize also rejected allegations that Ngubane Zulu got her position on the PIC board due to his political influence as "disingenuous and mischievous".

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  zweli mkhize  |  politics  |  health
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