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Zweli Mkhize’s son collected bags of Digital Vibes cash, says SIU

Illustrative image | Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Tahera Mather (left), Naadhira Mitha (black top, glasses) on 26 March 2019. (Photo: Facebook) | Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart) | (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Submissions from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) at the Special Tribunal has shed further light on alleged corruption and other transgressions relating to the Department of Health’s R150-million Digital Vibes communications contract. Then health minister Zweli Mkhize’s son, Dedani, allegedly collected boxes of cash from the company’s director.

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s son, Dedani, allegedly collected boxes and parcels stuffed with cash from one of the key figures in the R150-million Department of Health (DoH) corruption saga involving communications firm Digital Vibes.

According to new documents the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has filed at the Special Tribunal, Dedani Mkhize repeatedly met with Digital Vibes director Radha Hariram at a fuel station in Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly collected cash directly linked to the DoH contract.

The documents do not indicate when exactly the alleged cash pick-ups occurred.

However, it is understood that Mkhize’s meetings with Hariram took place during 2020, when Digital Vibes was being paid millions of rands in staggered tranches for a National Health Insurance (NHI) and Covid-19 communications contract.

The SIU has argued that the contract had been unlawful and it is now seeking an order to have it set aside.

The unit also wants to recover the full R150-million from an array of first, second and third-tier recipients of the alleged loot, including Dedani and Zweli Mkhize, and from the scheme’s alleged masterminds, Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha.

The amount the SIU aims to recover from Dedani Mkhize stands at about R3.8-million.

This includes monies he allegedly collected in cash, along with other benefits linked to the deal that was first exposed by Daily Maverick Scorpio.

In a series of tweets Dedani Mkhize posted on a newly created Twitter account on Saturday, he denied that he had received R3.8-million, but admitted that he did receive money from Mather.

“The largest amount she gave was the R300k via EFT after a car accident,” he tweeted.

He hit out at the SIU’s “shoddy investigation”.

“U can see SIU doesn’t know how to allocate this R3.4m cash withdrawals so they’ve dumped it all with me. Money I never got!!!”, he tweeted.

The cash mentioned in the SIU’s latest filings was flushed through the account of a company called JD Communications, which had received at least R1.75-million from Digital Vibes without any proof of work done to justify the payments, the documents show.

JD Communications’ director, in turn, withdrew large sums of money in cash and allegedly handed it to Hariram, according to the documents.

Mather and Mitha allegedly also received some of the cash.

But it was Hariram who allegedly took charge of ensuring that Dedani Mkhize got his cut.

“Ms Hariram was then informed by Ms Mather that Mr Dedani Mkhize would collect the parcel from her,” reads one of the passages from the SIU’s bundle.

“Ms Hariram was then contacted by Mr Dedani Mkhize on several occasions prior to him collecting the parcel.”

“These collections would take place at the Dawnside Petrol service station where Ms Hariram was employed as a manager. This occurred about six times,” the SIU has alleged.

The same fuel station featured in this Scorpio report from March 2021, in which we revealed that Hariram had worked there while she supposedly ran Digital Vibes.

This served as the first indication that Hariram was not truly Digital Vibes’ controlling director.

The SIU has also flagged R160 000 for a used vehicle Digital Vibes had bought for Dedani Mkhize with the proceeds of the DoH contract, and R300 000 transferred to one of his companies, as revealed in previous Scorpio reports.

Exposed: Digital Vibes bought a Land Cruiser bakkie for Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s son

A further R6 720 has been earmarked for recovery from former minister Mkhize himself for renovations — bankrolled by Digital Vibes — at a property in Bryanston.

The SIU is arguing that Hariram merely fronted as Digital Vibes’ director, while Mather and Mitha — who had longstanding ties to then minister Mkhize — in fact ran and controlled the business.

“… the separate juristic personality of Digital Vibes was a sham and the company was in fact a front disguising the involvement of Ms Mather and Ms Mitha who were its true controlling minds despite not being directors, shareholders or even employees of the company but ostensibly consultants,” reads the latest filings. DM

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All Comments 27

  • These people make me wish for the “terrible” old days when public officials were that and not criminals. Read the article about how Anglea Merkel had served without any personal gain for 18 years and see the difference between our lot.

    • The ‘Old Public Service’ worked because white Afrikaans women were at the coalface. Politics and racism aside they were qualified for what they did and served the “terrible” masters, but the job was done without the personal gain festering in cANCer.

    • Don’t make me laugh…it all started with the rescue of African Bank – they got away with looting and set the pattern for future behavior. In my opinion.

  • And now we await the long overdue response from the ANC and CR. For months, after the initial report by DM, the whole country has been aware of this criminal activity, except it would appear, for the comrades.
    Do any of them ever read the news to keep abreast with the happenings in the country??

  • At what point does SARS step in and investigate? Which firm of auditors is signing off those company financials and allowing this to happen. You cannot just withdraw large sums of cash from any business without loan accounts or documents being completed. Auditing firms should be held accountable for this kind of blatant theft!!

    • SARS will investigate you and me before they will any politician unless instructed to. They havent been independent for some time now.

  • Just disgusting and Minister Mkhize still drawing full salary while on ‘special leave’. I thought Cyril said he would act when he received SIU report end of June??? Must still be studying. Shame.

    • He is a very slow reader. Misplaced his iPad ,the one with the report, found it but started reading upside down. Complained, it wasn’t making sense to him , got told to do it properly and this, folks, happened over the last two weeks. It’s OK to hold your breath in these corona days but don’t end up killing yourself over our dear president.

  • Our noble long fingered friends cannot help themselves. It is like putting a tasty meal in front of a starving person! Eat, they must, in the name of greed, transformation, and cadre deployment. Will anyone ever get prosecuted Mrs NPA? “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”.

  • These crooks havent got much imagination. Same old pattern. Big daddy gets deployed. He then starts or joins some corrupt scheme. Next his children act as beneficiary-messenger/conduits between front crooks and papa. and suddenly big bags of looted cash are being moved about often in very loot fancy car. Ace JZ and
    Mkhize…..

    • The big man becomes like the uncle in the family. You see. The one with a cabriolet that he drives the little ones to the movies in . Automatic favourite in the family. Who cares that he probably bought it with stolen money. It’s his and family’s chance to EAT

  • in the age of AI and big data, how hard would it be for all banking transactions to be recorded in a database that then runs interpretations and analysis looking for patterns that banks should investigate?

    The banks are clearly not doing their job!!!

  • I think this scandal has just put the final nail in the coffin of the National Health Insurance scheme. Would have been another looting scheme anyway.

  • When will we, if ever, see an ANC cabinet of whom all ministers have the wellbeing of the citizens as a first priority. Not social grants, that buys votes, a healthy economy and job creation. That while keep their hands out of the tax coffers.