By Canisius Mushibwe
Investigations have revealed that some South African government officials with the former health minister, were involved in corruption when awarding a multi-million US dollar COVID-19 contract.
Former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who resigned last month is implicated in the scandal but has however played ignorant of the fact that his close friends were involved in a firm called Digital vibes, a company that was given the contract.
It was however uncovered, that despite Digital vibes being run by a woman, the real directors of Digital Vibes were two close associates of Dr. Mkhize.
The essence of the contract was to educate the public about the global pandemic. However, it is alleged that some money from the tender was used to attend to Mkhize’s expenses such as renovating his house and part of the funds used to purchase a car for the son at the cost of US$ 20,000.
When questioned by South Africa’s Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the former minister said he only became aware of the payment for the renovations through media reports.
Dr. Mkhize has denied being involved in any wrongdoing but his critics have questioned his ignorance over the matter.
A probe by the SIU found Dr. Mkhize guilty of having a distinct lack of oversight over the contract worth around US$10million and has recommended President Cyril Ramaphosa to bring the former health minister to justice by taking the necessary action against him and other stakeholders involved in the scandal, such as the like of former health ministry director-general Anban Pillay.
Dr. Mkhize has gone from a hero to a villain as his image has been tainted. He was praised by many for his handling of South Africa’s Covid-19 response.
This act of corruption has enraged South African citizens as many view it to have been a waste of taxpayers’ resources.