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State employee accused of taking R160,000 payment from Digital Vibes

Former health and Cogta minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo.
Former health and Cogta minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo.

A state employee was arrested for corruption on Tuesday in connection with payments she allegedly received from controversial company Digital Vibes.

Lizeka Tonjeni, 47, is an employee of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (Misa), an entity overseen by the co-operative governance department.

She appeared at the Pretoria commercial crimes court on Tuesday and was granted bail of R5,000.

According to the charge sheet, various payments were made by Digital Vibes to Tonjeni between December 2018 and August 2020. 

“On July 17 2018, Digital Vibes were informed that it had been appointed as the preferred service provider. Digital Vibes were further informed that Tonjeni would be the nominated project manager responsible for the management of the appointed and to whom all communication had to be addressed,” read the charge sheet.

Tonjeni allegedly received payments amounting to R160,000.

She was employed by Misa as director of executive support in the office of the CEO.

The state said the payments she received were not due to her.

In her bail application, she told the court she intends to plead not guilty and has no pending cases or previous convictions.

Her bail conditions include that she must surrender her passport, may not apply for a passport and may not leave Gauteng unless she applies in writing to the investigating officer.

The matter was postponed to June 15 for disclosure.

NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said investigations are ongoing in the Digital Vibes matter.

In separate proceedings, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been investigating the R150m contract awarded by the health department to Digital Vibes, a company alleged to have close ties to former health and Cogta minister Zweli Mkhize. The SIU has filed an application before the Special Tribunal to recoup funds from companies it alleged had unduly benefited from the contract.


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