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Hawks, NPA mum on arrests and prosecutions in Digital Vibes saga

Published Sep 30, 2021

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The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said it was too soon to make any arrests in the case relating to R150 million Digital Vibes scandal.

The entity maintains it is still going to study the report before they can make arrests.

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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) made damning findings against former health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and top Health Department officials in relation to the department’s R150m Digital Vibes deal.

Mkhize quit his job in August before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle.

The SIU, meanwhile, called for Anban Pillay, the former acting director-general of the national Health Department, to be charged.

“Much as that the report was read, or you were given a summary, you must get the entire thing, read it through and make sure that those people that need to be arrested are arrested and that is not going to happen today just because the report comes today. We are going to sit with that report very well and continue with the investigations going forward. What they investigate isn’t necessarily criminal, not all of those people will be arrested, it will depend on what evidence to go forward, and evidence requires investigations, and investigations take a while,” said Mogale.

“Once we have gone through the report and comprehended the recommendations contained therein, only then can we respond to the answers of your enquiry.”

The report, which has been under wraps since it was completed by the SIU a few months ago, was released by the Presidency on Wednesday.

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National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said they had handed the report to the Hawks.

“The report is with the Hawks, they are investigating the matter, we sent it to them upon receiving it from the SIU, because, remember, it is not ready for prosecution. The matters that come from SIU and referrals are not necessarily ready for prosecution, there still need investigations,” said Mhaga.

Sources within the law enforcement agencies says they are yet to be briefed on whether any property raids would take place against those implicated in the report.

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“We know the report is being discussed but we have not yet been told anything,” said one of the sources.

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*Additional reporting by Kailene Pillay

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