Zweli Mkhize: Minister Advised Not to Attend Parliamentary Committee Briefing

Zweli Mkhize: Minister Advised Not to Attend Parliamentary Committee Briefing

- A Parliamentary Health Committee meeting was held on Friday, 4 June and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize stated that he had been advised not to attend

- The minister didn't take part in the meeting as the Special Investigating Unit's probe into him and his part in the Digital Vibes saga is ongoing, say reports

- Mkhize was expected to head the briefing and many African National Congress members requested that the meeting be cancelled, but this was objected to by other MPs

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Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reportedly did not attend a briefing by the Parliamentary Health Committee due to the ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against him. The allegations concern Mkhize's association with Digital Vibes.

The briefing of the Portfolio Committee took place on Friday, 4 May. It has been reported that Mkhize followed legal advice and did not attend. Committee Chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo opened the meeting, where he made the announcement that Minister Mkhize would not be present.

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The minister was expected to head a delegation from the Health Department alongside his Director-General Sandile Buthelezi.

Mkhize advised, not to attend Parliament health committee meeting
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize did not attend Friday, 4 May's Parliament Health Committee meeting. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

EWN reported that members of the Committee were involved in a spat as members of the African National Congress (ANC) requested that the meeting be cancelled due to Mkhize not being present.

ANC's objection explained

The report continued by explaining that ANC Committee member Tshilidzi Munyai stated that the matter in question was reported to the court by Democratic Alliance's Siviwe, adding that the issue was sub judice as both Mkhize and Buthelezi were under investigation.

Mkhize's response

Gwarube and other opposition MPs objected to Munyai and the ANC's request to have the meeting cancelled. A report by IOL revealed that Dr Dhlomo had been in talks with Mkhize. He added that the minister stated that he was advised to not brief the committee due to the ongoing investigation.

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Mkhize explained that it would be 'incorrect' for him to lead the briefing given the fact that he is being investigated.

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Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize

Previously, Briefly News reported that Ramaphosa revealed that he and Mkhize spoke about the Digital Vibes matter. Ramaphosa stated that the minister was in full cooperation with the Special Investigating Unit's (SIU) probe.

Digital Vibes saga

The SIU is investigating allegations of corruption involving a R150 million irregular tender contract that was handed to Digital Vibes by the Department of Health. Two of Mkhize's close associates allegedly own the company.

There is a lot going on with the ruling party from the step-aside rule all the way to the Health Minister's scandal. President Ramaphosa finds himself at the centre of these issues while still tackling the looming third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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