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Zweli Mkhize's daughter-in-law not off the hook in Digital Vibes saga

SIU receives major boost as Special Tribunal adds more entities and people to list of those who must pay back the money

Mawande AmaShabalala Political journalist
Zweli Mkhize with his wife May and their son Dedani. The mother and son as well as Dedani's wife, Sithokozile may be pursued to pay back some of the money which came their way amid the Digital Vibes scandal.
Zweli Mkhize with his wife May and their son Dedani. The mother and son as well as Dedani's wife, Sithokozile may be pursued to pay back some of the money which came their way amid the Digital Vibes scandal.
Image: Supplied

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has received a major boost in its quest to recover public funds paid to controversial company Digital Vibes.

This comes after the Special Tribunal gave the SIU the greenlight to go after four companies and an individual — the wife of former health minister Zweli Mkhize's son.

According to an order by judge Lebo Modiba, the SIU is now empowered to add the five to the review application to declare the Digital Vibes contract null and void and have it set aside.

Sithokozile Mkhize, wife of Dedani Mkhize will also potentially have to pay back R650K that went towards her beauty parlour.

The companies that will also face the SIU heat include ALL Out Trading owned by Dedani which allegedly benefited by just more than R1m.

Sirela Trading, which is owned by Yenziwe Sokhela, has also been joined for allegedly receiving R600,000.

This while Tusokuhle Farming, 50/50 owned by Dedani and Sokhela, is also in the mud for benefiting to the tune of R1.2m.

Cedar Falls Properties owned by the former minister’s wife May Mkhize was also not spared for allegedly scoring close to R2m from the Digital Vibes loot.

The SIU told the Tribunal that these monies to the five flowed from the R10.6m paid by Digital Vibes to Mateta Projects belonging to Mdu Mthethwa.

“Between June and October 2020, Mateta Projects allegedly paid R570,000 to All Out Trading,” reads the Special Tribunal judgment.

“Mateta Projects also paid R3,795,000 to Sirela Trading, referenced ‘Consultation service’. From this amount, Sirela Trading paid the below amounts for the alleged benefit of Dedani Mkhize and Dr May Mkhize: R170,000 to All Out Trading and R1,888,727.84 to Ithala Bank.

“Hence the SIU alleges that the payment was made for the benefit of Dr May Mkhize. R586,272.16 remains to the credit of Sirela Trading. Mateta Projects is also alleged to have paid R1,255,000 to Tusokuhle in a series of payments between October 24 and 26 2020,” it states.

“On November 24 2020, Mateta Projects paid R650,098.00 to Adluli Projects for the shopfitting of Sithokozile Mkhize’s Tammy Taylor Nails Salon in Pietermaritzburg.”

Sokhela tried in vain to mount a defence for Sirela Trading and Tusokuhle not to be joined.

In his defence, Sokhela contends that the payments Sirela Trading made to All Out Trading and Tusokuhle, as well as the payment Sirela Trading made to Ithala Bank, were made in the ordinary course of these parties’ business and that these entities are innocent victims of the alleged illicit flow of funds from department of health to Digital Vibes.

Sokhela tried to explain that monies he received from Mthethwa were related to farming business between the two of them, including leasing a farm for two years.

His arguments could not save him.

The SIU is now pinning its hopes on winning the review which will pave the way towards the recovery of the Digital Vibes loot from the close to 40 individuals and companies.

TimesLIVE


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