Minister of Health Joe Phaahla File picture: GCIS
Minister of Health Joe Phaahla File picture: GCIS

Phaahla to appear before MPs over Digital Vibes saga

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla will appear before MPs on Friday to explain what action the department has taken after the release of the Digital Vibes report.

However, yesterday Phaahla had announced that several officials from his department, including former acting director-general Anban Pillay, would have been served with suspension letters by the close of business yesterday. Other officials are working in other departments.

Phaahla had said after the Special Investigating Unit had concluded its report, it was now up to departments and law enforcement agencies to take action.

The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority have been given the report with criminal action being sought against those implicated.

The meeting between Phaahla and the portfolio committee on health on Friday comes the day after the head of the committee, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, had said they would seek a meeting with the minister.

This was after the committee had requested the meeting through Parliament’s House chairperson, Cedrick Frolick, to conduct the session.

Opposition parties are already gunning for those implicated to be charged by law enforcement agencies.

The Digital Vibes saga led to the resignation of former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize almost two months ago.

Director-general in the department Sandile Buthelezi was placed on suspension a few days ago.

But Phaahla said suspension letters were going to be issued to other senior and administrative officials who have been linked to the Digital Vibes saga.

The communications company was awarded a R150 million contract that was initially meant to deal with the National Health Insurance. It was later extended to cover Covid-19 after the outbreak of the virus last March.

Political Bureau

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