“This period of special leave will enable the minister to engage in investigations and allegations relating to contracts between the Department of Health and Digital Vibes, a service provider,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
“The Special Investigation Unit is investigating the matter and the President awaits a report on the outcome of this investigation,” the statement continued. Tourism Minister Mamamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will take over the health department in the interim.
The scandal surrounding the Digital Vibes contract has been making headlines in the country for weeks and Mkhize has been asked to resign.
Prior to Ramaphosa’s announcement, Mkhize gave a statement to the press, “I fully accept and take personal responsibility for the public outrage caused by this Digital Vibes contract.”
“Negative discourse not only made an impact and impact on me, but it also had an impact on my family. But most of all it has tarnished the teamwork of our government, which is under the President’s leadership in its continuous efforts to fight COVID. -19 status. It has also caused a bit of disruption, and I want to apologize unconditionally for all this,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize said that an internal report announced on 26 May found “irregularities in the contract and excess fees or wasteful expenditure in that contract”, but stressed that personally “he had no role in the award of the contract and no There was no personal gain.”
Asked whether he and the president have discussed his possible resignation, Mkhije said, “We have not discussed the issue of resignation, we have discussed the issue of special leave pending the report of the SIU.”