Digital Vibes cash used to open hair salon and nail franchise — report
Zweli Mkhize’s son and daughter-in-law allegedly benefited from the contract
Health minister Zweli Mkhize’s son and daughter-in-law allegedly benefited from the health department’s Digital Vibes contract when more than R1m was used to open a hair salon and an upmarket nails franchise.
Daily Maverick reported at least R650,000 went towards Sthoko Mkhize’s Tammy Taylor Nails outlet opened in Pietermaritzburg’s Midlands Mall.
More than R400,000 was allegedly diverted from the R150m Digital Vibes contract to a hair salon, Gold Ace Cuts and Curls, co-owned by Mkhize’s son Dedani, close to the nail franchise.
Last week Dedani said he had “nothing to hide” and claimed the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had not afforded him an opportunity to state his version of events in the Digital Vibes saga.
TimesLIVE reported his denial came after an earlier report stated Mkhize and his son had been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to consider charging them for corruption over “suspicious” payments received from Digital Vibes.
The information was contained in court papers the SIU filed at the Special Tribunal, where it is trying to recover R150m t allegedly unlawfully paid by the health department to Digital Vibes, a company owned by Mkhize’s close associate Tahera Mather.
The Sunday Times reported that SIU lead investigator Rajendra Chunilall alleged in an affidavit that evidence pointed to Mkhize and Dedani having contravened the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
The affidavit contained allegations that the registered owner of Digital Vibes, Radha Hariram, helped facilitate cash collections in plastic bags and cardboard boxes for Dedani from the petrol station she ran.
Sthoko Mkhize did not respond to enquiries about the nail franchise, reported Daily Maverick.
Zweli Mkhize denied the allegations against him before he was placed on leave, and has maintained his silence.