Dr. Zwelini Mkhize has resigned as health minister, but he is not admitting to any wrongdoing and is taking the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report on review.
When Dr.Mkhize threw in the towel on Thursday – ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle – he said he was going to court to challenge allegations that he unlawfully benefited from a dodgy Digital Vibes tender.
Dr. Mkhize was replaced by Joe Phaalha as heath Health Minister.
The former health minister told the president that he was only resigning because he was unable to perform his duties since he was placed on special leave on 8 June.
Denying that he siphoned funds from the health department, Dr. Mkhize said: “The SIU’s conduct and conclusions cannot be ignored or left unchallenged”.
Dendanimabhunu Mkhize, the son of the former health minister has also denied receiving money from Digital Vibes contract but admits the owner Tahera Mather is a friend and money was “exchanged” in that regard.
The former minister is on record as saying the owners of Digital Vibes, which scored a R150 million communications tender from the health department, were former colleagues.
However, Dr. Mkhize and his son insist they have been unfairly accused by the SIU whose investigation process they deem flawed.
Dendanimabhunu says the SIU never spoke to him and relied on media reports. His father, Dr, Mkhize says the SIU “ambushed” him and “ignored” evidence that “contradicted” its inferences in “dogged pursuit of its predetermined conclusions”.
Dr. Mkhize added: “I believe that it is important to allow the court to reach an independent conclusion concerning the legality of the SIU investigative process and the conclusions and findings it made.”
On Thursday, Ramaphosa said he accepted Dr. Mkhize’s request to be released from his minister position. The president thanked Dr.Mkhize for his work during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.