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Parliament defends determination to clear Mkhize in Digital Vibes scandal





Parliament has defended its determination to clear former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize of contravening the MPs’ Code of Conduct for his alleged involvement within the Digital Vibes’ scandal.

On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests wrote to Mkhize informing the previous minister of its determination to clear him following deliberations on the matter.

The matter stemmed from a criticism laid by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) deputy chief whip Siviwe Gwarube.

ALSO READ: Mkhize recordsdata one other affidavit in his bid to quash Digital Vibes findings

Gwarube filed the criticism after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), in its report, discovered that Mkhize allegedly benefitted from R6,720 in repairs to his house, which was stated to be paid for by Digital Vibes.

She had argued that Mkhize breached the Ethics Code by not disclosing the alleged profit.

The DA MP’s different criticism associated to Mkhize’s son who allegedly obtained R460,000 from the communications firm.

The committee indicated that Mkhize can’t be held liable on behalf of his son’s conduct.

‘Disappointing’

Following the end result, Gwarube instructed Daily Maverick that the DA was dissatisfied by the committee’s determination.

“It is deeply disappointing that the ethics committee would arrive on the conclusion that the alleged funnelling of cash to the previous well being minister’s son isn’t a violation of the ethics code.

“The sections of the code had been utilized so narrowly that it excludes the minister’s son as an undue beneficiary on the idea that he’s an grownup and never depending on Dr Mkhize financially.

“This finding is seemingly at odds with the spirit of the code and provisions of it by this narrow application,” Gwarube stated.

READ MORE: Digital Vibes: Over R1 million spent on hair salon, nail franchise for Mkhize’s household

Meanwhile, the committee has defended its determination to clear the previous minister.

“The committee emphasised though that it is basing its findings on the ethics code and that all other investigations by law enforcement agencies will continue to determine if there was or there is any criminal act involved,” the committee’s co-chair, Bhekizwe Nkosi instructed SABC News.

“This is outside the scope of the committee and it is left to law enforcement agencies. The committee assures South Africans that it acts without fear, favour, or prejudice on all matters brought before it,” Nkosi added.

SIU report

Mkhize stepped down as Health Minister in August 2021 after the SIU submitted its damning report back to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The report discovered that Mkhize and his household personally benefited from the Digital Vibes contract.

But Mkhize has since taken the SIU’s report on authorized assessment, claiming that his submissions and proof weren’t taken into consideration by the unit.

The former minister was additionally accused of placing stress on the Department of Health to rent Digital Vibes.

The SIU instructed the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in September final yr that Mkhize might have been negligent when approving budgets price R132 million regarding the division’s campaigns.

NOW READ: Digital Vibes: How Mkhize’s aide splurged on Gucci, Smeg and a Turkey vacation 





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