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SIU given green light to amend notice of motion in its Digital Vibes legal challenge

Former Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize File picture: GCIS

Former Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize File picture: GCIS

Published Apr 14, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - The Special Tribunal has given the go-ahead to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to join four companies and an individual allegedly linked to former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s family in its litigation to recover monies from the Digital Vibes contract.

On Wednesday, Judge Lebogang Modiba granted the SIU leave to amend the notice of motion in its review application.

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The proposed respondents that will be joined in the review application are All-Out Trading, Tusokuhle Farming, Sithokozile Mkhize, Cedar Falls and Sirela Trading.

In her ruling delivered electronically, Modiba said the SIU’s allegations against the proposed respondents met the test for the joinder.

“If granted, the order sought against the proposed respondents cannot be carried out without prejudicially affecting them,” she said.

Modiba ordered the SIU to file the amended pages of the notice of motion in the review application by April 21.

“The proposed respondents are ordered to pay costs of the applicant jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved,” she said in her ruling.

The judgement came a day after Parliament cleared Mkhize of flouting the code of ethics for MPs and for allegedly benefiting from Digital Vibes.

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On Tuesday, committee co-chairpersons Bhekizwe Nkosi and Lydia Moshodi said they found that Mkhize did not breach the code on the two accounts that the allegations were levelled against him.

They also said the committee has considered the documentary evidence and concluded that Thamsanqa Mkhize was the person who liaised with 4-way Maintenance and was charged with making payments totalling R6720.

“It is on this basis that the committee found that Dr Mkhize did not breach the Code of Ethical conduct and disclosures of Members Interests.

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“The committee considers the matter closed,” Nkosi and Moshodi said.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe said the amount of charges and addition of people in the SIU litigation was not a proof of guilt or otherwise.

“It is an indication of determination by the SIU and its willingness to defend its investigation,” Seepe said.

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“Unless it implicates Mkhize directly, their findings are open to be challenged.”

Seepe noted that Parliament had cleared Mkhize despite the SIU probe determining he was guilty.

“The argument was that his son is involved and therefore, by extension, he is guilty. We know that we have had people who have had their relatives caught in the wrong and it does not make them guilty by association.”

In the light of his political fortunes, Seepe said Wednesday’s ruling was very important for Mkhize.

Cape Times

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