FORMER health minister Zweli Mkhize has approached the High Court in Johannesburg to set aside the Special Investigating Unit’s damning findings and declare them unconstitutional and unlawful.
Independent Media’s Daily News detailed Mkhize’s affidavit and submission to court in a breaking news story earlier on Tuesday.
Mkhize stands accused of allegedly putting pressure on departmental officials to award a controversial R150 million tender to Digital Vibes, a company owned by Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha, alleged to be friends of Mkhize and his family.
1. He claimed he received no personal benefit, directly or indirectly, from Digital Vibes or persons associated with it.
Mkhize emphasised that he personally played no role, directly or indirectly, in the procurement process of the department, resulting in the award of the contract to Digital Vibes. “I became aware of its appointment two months after this happened.”
2. He claims the SIU failed to address his version of events and withheld evidence he provided to it.
Mkhize said that, in most instances, such evidence was entirely ignored where it deviated from the SIU’s predetermined conclusions. He said he provided the SIU with a bundle of documents, without being required to do so.
3. He claims he was “ambushed” during questioning as he was given no notice of even the gist of fundamental matters on which he was questioned.
Mkhize said he provided a detailed witness statement in advance of his questioning but documents in the possession of the SIU “were simply withheld so that I could be ambushed”.
4. He claims some of the key findings by the SIU, in its referral to President Cyril Ramaphosa, were markedly different from those put to him during its interrogation.
Mkhize said the SIU failed to disclose allegations made against him by his subordinate, the former director-general of the Health Department, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, but relied heavily on those allegations in coming to adverse findings against him.
5. He claims he was not given an opportunity to respond to the allegations made by Buthelezi.
Mkhize said that if his submissions and evidence had been taken into account by the SIU, it would have come to a different conclusion regarding his alleged involvement in the appointment of Digital Vibes.