SIU head Mothibi pleased with turnaround of probe against Mkhize and Digital Vibes

Mpho Koka Journalist
SIU head Andy Mothibi has told a meeting of black business leaders that his unit has found irregularities in the manner the contract of Digital Vibes was procured.
SIU head Andy Mothibi has told a meeting of black business leaders that his unit has found irregularities in the manner the contract of Digital Vibes was procured.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said it is pleased with the speed and turnaround time it took to conclude its investigation into the controversial Digital Vibes contract. 

Speaking at a Black Business Council webinar on ‘The Fight Against Corruption’ on Friday, SIU head Adv Andy Mothibi said they managed to find irregularities with how the contract was procured. 

“The issues relating to the national department of health and the procurement of a contract by a company called Digital Vibes have been investigated as speedily as possible and we believe the turnaround time in that investigation was satisfactory. We have reached the outcomes that we have reached and I can just really say that we have found irregularities in the manner in which that contract was procured,” said Mothibi.

According to SowetanLIVE's sister publication Business Day, the SIU, which seeks to recoup millions of rands spent on the Digital Vibes contract, has accused health minister Zweli Mkhize of unlawful improper conduct for his role and wants to recover almost R4m from his family.

Business Day reported that in court papers filed in the Special Tribunal on Thursday, the SIU asked for the R150m contract reviewed and set aside and for those implicated to be ordered to pay the SIU or the department of health money they received with interest. 

Mothibi confirmed that the Digital Vibes matter is before the Special Tribunal but would not comment publicly on the merits of the case. 

“And that is why we are at court. That’s why we are at the Special Tribunal as of yesterday to cancel the contract and seek to recover the monies that have been paid out. In terms of other outcomes, I am very constrained by legal considerations and legal risks that are attached to the matter as it is pending in court.

"I am not in a position to really go into the details of the outcomes and I am not in a position to really detail what has been found against whom."

Mothibi said they want to give president Cyril Ramaphosa the opportunity to study the final report and make his pronouncements.   

The SIU investigated the awarding of a R150m communications contract to Digital Vibes by the health department for work that was related to the proposed National Health Insurance. The contract was later extended for projects on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mkhize is alleged to having personally benefitted from the awarding of the contract. But he has consistently denied benefiting in any way from the Digital Vibes deal. Last month Mkhize went on special leave pending the finalisation of the SIU’s investigation.

Digital Vibes is run by Mkhize’s former personal assistant Tahera Mather and his former secretary Naadhira Mitha.

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