WATCH | Ramaphosa places Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on special leave

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has been placed on special leave.
  • Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will act in his place.
  • Mkhize earlier said he did not discuss the issue of resignation with President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has been placed on special leave to enable him "to attend to allegations and investigations concerning contracts between the Department of Health and a service provider, Digital Vibes", the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will act in his place, according to the statement.

Mkhize told journalists, a short while earlier, that he had discussed with President Cyril Ramaphosa the possibility of taking special leave, but added that resignation was not on the table. 

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is currently investigating the R150 million contract, which an internal probe in the department found was irregularly awarded.

FRIDAY BRIEFING | The acid test: Mkhize is now severely compromised, what are Ramaphosa’s options?

Digital Vibes is run by two of Mkhize's close associates - and the Daily Maverick reported that the company had made payments for repairs to a house owned by a trust in Mkhize's name. 

There was also a cash payment from Digital Vibes to his son, Dedani, as well as a car bought in his name. 

Mkhize said work had started to recover R37 million of that money, which was found to have been fruitless and wasteful expenditure. 

Mkhize also apologised, saying "it has affected me, and my family, and tainted the teamwork of our government led by the president" on the Covid-19 pandemic. 

AS IT HAPPENED | Ramaphosa grilled by media on Mkhize, corruption, land expropriation

Although he said he had received legal advice not to talk about the details of the matter - and therefore did not attend a meeting of Parliament's portfolio committee on health on Friday - he is set to appear before the ANC's integrity commission soon. 

Commission head George Mashamba confirmed he had received a letter from Mkhize, in which he requested an audience with the commission, which meets every Saturday. 

READ ALSO | SIU probe prevents Mkhize from speaking on Digital Vibes scandal, Parliament told

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party's national working committee, at its meeting on Monday, "welcomed" Mkhize's decision to present himself to the integrity commission. 

The party resolved at its 2017 conference at Nasrec that leaders, who are under a cloud, should subject themselves to the commission. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 514 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 201 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 2246 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
13.78
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.44
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.70
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.63
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.2%
Gold
1,865.95
-0.6%
Silver
27.84
-0.3%
Palladium
2,755.00
-0.9%
Platinum
1,168.39
+1.5%
Brent Crude
72.69
+0.2%
Top 40
61,654
+0.3%
All Share
67,942
+0.3%
Resource 10
65,584
-0.3%
Industrial 25
88,227
+0.7%
Financial 15
13,721
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo