SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi appeared before Scopa on Tuesday regarding the Digital Vibes contract. Picture: Supplied
SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi appeared before Scopa on Tuesday regarding the Digital Vibes contract. Picture: Supplied

SIU tells Parliament probe into new Digital Vibes allegations under way

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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Cape Town - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it was still investigating further allegations made on the contract made to Digital Vibes after it completed its investigation in June.

“That investigation is still under way.

“Whenever the investigation is finalised, we will appropriately report,” SIU head Andy Mothibi said when briefing the standing committee on public accounts on their investigations into PPE for Covid-19.

Former minister of health Zweli Mkhize stepped down after being implicated in the irregular awarding of the contract to Digital Vibes that was linked to people who worked with him in the department, the ANC and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department.

The SIU found that the multimillion-rand communication contract for Covid-19 and National Health Insurance (NHI) was irregularly awarded.

A report tabled to Scopa said Mkhize approved two budget applications for Digital Vibes for the NHI communication.

Mothibi said civil litigation was under way and was conducted according to the rules of the Special Tribunal to recover all the monies.

The SIU report showed that the unit identified about R22m contained in several bank accounts from cash flows from the Digital Vibes bank account.

The SIU was granted an interim preservation order of interdict for R22 001 884.54 in June.

In July, the SIU filed its review application against Digital Vibes and 29 respondents to review and set aside the two contracts that were awarded by the department and to recover the full amount about R150m paid out under the contract.

“Thus far, the SIU received a total of R12 179 429.90 in refunds from or on behalf of the respondents.”

Mothibi said Mkhize was challenging the SIU investigative report and the unit was defending the matter.

He also said an application brought to interdict the SIU by Ndabezinhle Sibiya has been withdrawn in the Special Tribunal.

Mothibi said the SIU has also instituted two joinder applications for individual and entities that received payments from Digital Vibes.

The SIU report to Scopa said a notice to amend notice of motion was filed to seek relief from the respondents cited in the two joinder applications.

The report stated that seven referrals involving senior management, middle management and junior officials were made to the department for disciplinary processes.

Mothibi said they were informed that one of the officials had pleaded guilty.

“We are waiting for the sanction that would be meted out on this official.

“The rest we will continue to ensure disciplinary processes are taken,” he said.

He also said they made one referral for an executive action to be taken against Mkhize, who has since resigned and that no further action could be taken against him.

The SIU report said there were 19 referrals made to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against officials and private individuals to be charged for fraud, corruption and money laundering.

“The matters are still under investigation.”

The report stated that the department was considering one referral for blacklisting.

mayib[email protected]

Political Bureau

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