Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Phaahla insists action will be taken against officials implicated in Digital Vibes scandal

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla has reiterated that disciplinary action would be taken against officials implicated in the Digital Vibes scandal that cost the department millions of rand.

Phaahla said the ministry had been waiting for the Special Investigating Unit report to act against those implicated.

The SIU had identified several officials who were allegedly involved in the tender scandal that saw Digital Vibes being awarded a contract of R150 million.

Phaahla, who was replying to a written question in Parliament from EFF MP Naledi Chirwa, said they would take disciplinary action against the officials.

Yesterday, Phaahla named the officials identified in the report. He said they would be suspended, pending an investigation into their conduct.

He said he stood by the report and would act on it.

“The Ministry of Health has commenced consequence management processes against officials that were identified in the investigation report commissioned by the national department of health.

“The department can confirm that it has also received the SIU report identifying individuals that should be disciplined for acts of misconduct during the performance of their official duties within the National Department of Health which may require the (department) to consider instituting disciplinary action against them.

“The department is working on ensuring the integration of all processes to ensure consistency and equity in the implementation of the consequent management processes.

’’The SIU report… (is) being reviewed by the legal team appointed by the department to handle this matter.

’’The legal team will advise on all legal steps that need to be taken by the director-general, and such further steps will thereafter commence,” said Phaahla.

Phaahla is due to appear before MPs late on Friday. He is expected to answer more questions on the action taken against the officials allegedly involved in the Digital Vibes saga.

The portfolio committee on health has called Phaahla and his senior officials to appear before it a day after he publicly announced the suspension of the top officials.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the report public three months after the SIU gave it to him.

Political Bureau

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