The Special Tribunal has granted the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) leave to join five companies allegedly linked to former health minister Zweli Mkhize's family in its review application against the Digital Vibes contract.
The companies will now be added to a review application to declare the Digital Vibes contract unlawful, set aside and have the money paid back to the state.
In a ruling, electronically delivered on Wednesday, judge Lebogang Modiba ruled that the SIU's allegations against five companies who allegedly benefited from the controversial Digital Vibes contract met the test for joinder.
“The applicant is granted leave to amend the notice of motion in the review application... the applicant [SIU] shall file the amended pages of the notice of motion in the review application by Thursday 21 April,” Modiba said in her judgment.
Modiba, in a 24-page judgment, said the companies that the SIU sought to join presented to the SIU “inconsistent versions” regarding the payments they received stemming from funds from Digital Vibes.
Last month, the SIU filed a joinder application before the Special Tribunal as it aims to recoup funds from six companies it alleged had unduly benefited from the contract. Only one of the companies, Azwakele Trading and Projects, was not joined in the review application.
The ruling comes a day after parliament’s ethics committee cleared Mkhize of contravening the MPs' code of ethics in relation to the Digital Vibes scandal.