Hubby defends embattled HOD wife

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The husband of embattled KwaZulu-Natal Health HOD Busi Nyembezi has accused the KwaZulu-Natal government of trying to "buy-out" his wife.

Yesterday, Solomon Sibeko broke his wife's silence on the issue. At a press conference at the Harambe Institute of Transformation, now known as Sisa Consulting in Hillcrest, he called on the provincial government to show the "evidence or shut up".

Nyembezi is on extended leave after KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele appointed law firm Strauss Daly to lead an independent probe into allegations that she was involved in a more than R15 million tender scam.

The scam allegedly benefited the Harambe Institute for Transformation and its associated companies.

The firm was also tasked to investigate strained relationships between Nyembezi and Health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni.

Sowetan sources say the final report in Ndebele's possession is "damning and suggests that Nyembezi be arrested".

Police this week confirmed that the commercial crimes unit is currently conducting investigations into the Nyembezi matter.

Sibeko said his wife was advised by her lawyer not to address the conference due to the "sensitive nature of the matter".

He said his wife never benefited from any tenders.

"My wife knows nothing about tenders that Sisa won from government."

Sibeko is a majority share-holder in Sisa Consulting.

He also lambasted Sowetan's reporting on the matter, saying "Sowetan has blown the matter out of proportion" and was not welcome at the conference.

He said his wife met provincial director-general Kwazi Mbanjwa in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

He claims Mbanjwa refused to hand over the report to his wife.

He alleges that Mbanjwa read a page of the report to his wife and then asked her "to negotiate a package or face being arrested".

"She came out of the meeting saying Mbanjwa wanted to buy her out.

"He also told her the police wanted to arrest her. If government is serious about fighting corruption, why did they ask her to take a package if she is corrupt?" Sibeko asked.

He challenged government to suspend his wife and conduct an investigation into the allegations.

"I challenge the government to put forward their evidence or shut up. Busi will not run away like a coward."

Meanwhile, Mbanjwa confirmed that he met with Nyembezi on Tuesday. He says he went through the report with her.

"We went through the report compiled by a team of consultants. The report follows an investigation into a number of allegations levelled against Nyembezi who has taken voluntary leave while the matter is finalised."

The findings of the report will be made public in due course, he added.