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Opposition MPs accuse ANC of shielding Mkhize from accountability to the public

FILE – Former health minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize. 080621. Picture: Danie van der Lith

FILE – Former health minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize. 080621. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Published Oct 1, 2021


Cape Town – The official opposition has accused the ANC of blocking it in Parliament a few months ago to call former health minister Zweli Mkhize to answer questions on the Digital Vibes saga.

But ANC MPs denied blocking the DA to get Mkhize to the House to answer questions.

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This was after the scandal had broken out.

DA MP Siviwe Gwarube said the ANC had hidden behind the sub judice rule to prevent the Portfolio Committee on Health to call Mkhize to come and account on the matter.

At the time the Special Investigating Unit had begun its probe into Digital Vibes.

Gwarube was backed by her colleague Haseena Ismail that ANC members had blocked attempts by other parties to call Mkhize to account on Digital Vibes, a few months ago.

Gwarube said this would have allowed members of the portfolio committee to ask Mkhize direct questions related to the company.

“The reality chair is that we have to take responsibility where we have erred. Members of this committee, a number of them, particularly members of the ANC shielded the former Minister from accountability and blocked that meeting from happening, talking about sub judice rules, talking about how the matter could not be properly ventilated,” said Gwarube.

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“With the publication of this SIU report it is absolutely clear to us that because of the majority held by the governing party in this committee, we failed in our duties because we had an opportunity to pose direct questions to the former Minister, but we didn’t do that because we were blocked from doing that.”

She said ANC members must hang their heads in shame for blocking the committee from calling Mkhize.

But ANC MPs stood their ground and denied blocking Mkhize from coming to the committee.

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They said they were waiting for the SIU to complete their investigation.

ANC MP Mxolisi Sokatsha said the members of the official opposition were missing the point.

There was no attempt to block the meeting and prevent Mkhize from coming to the committee to explain, he said.

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“I don’t think ANC members blocked this report. I really don’t think so. Our understanding as ANC members was that the SIU was still busy with the investigation. That is why we are having this report today, because it is a fully fledged report, which is the outcome of their investigation. It is malicious for the member to say ANC members blocked the (meeting). I don’t think that is correct,” said Sokatsha.

Another ANC MP Annah Gela said they did not block Mkhize from coming to the committee when he was still minister, when the matter came to the public attention.

She said they were waiting for the SIU to do its work.

Political Bureau