The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Wednesday said it would be following up on new information seemingly linking Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s family to money being siphoned off as part of the Digital Vibes contract, which the health department entered into at a cost of R150 million.
The Daily Maverick’s investigative unit Scorpio reported on Tuesday that about R1 million was siphoned off to help Mkhize’s son set up a new hair salon in Pietermaritzburg and some of the money was also used to franchise a nail bar for his daughter-in-law, which opened its doors in December.
The SIU has already submitted a memorandum to the Special Tribunal detailing how Mkhize’s son, Dedani, and other close associates benefited but said it would now also look at possible new evidence as and when it comes in.
Scorpio has found that R650,000 was allegedly allocated to fund the start-up of Mkhize’s daughter-in-law’s new Tammy Taylor nail bar.
At the same time, it’s also alleged that a further R446,000 was paid into an account for Dedani’s new salon called Gold Ace Cuts and Curls.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they would now check the veracity of some of the new information from the article and follow up on it.
“The investigation is continuing, and we will make sure that we get to the bottom to each of the allegations that comes before us.”
Kganyago said just because it handed a report to the Special Tribunal, it didn’t mean new information could not be investigated and added as and when needed.
“We urge everyone who’s got the information, it doesn’t have to be the media, to come forward so that we’re able to get to the bottom of this.”
The SIU said some of the details outlined in the Scorpio’s expose were known to the team, but vowed to look at all the new information and follow up thoroughly.
In late May, during his last public address as minister of health, Mkhize denied any links with Digital Vibes.
It’s been eight weeks since Mkhize was placed on special leave by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Now that the SIU has referred Mkhize and his son Dedani to the National Prosecuting Authority to consider corruption charges, all eyes are on the ANC NEC to discuss his fate at its next meeting.
The integrity commission has now concluded its report but won’t weigh in on reports from sources that Mkhize has been recommended to step aside.
At the time of publication, Mkhize had not responded to the publication calls for comment.
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