Digital Vibes: Health DG Sandile Buthelezi CLEARED in R150m probe

Digital Vibes: Health DG Sandile Buthelezi CLEARED in R150m probe
© Provided by The South African

The Health Ministry has confirmed that its Director-General Dr Sandile Buthelezi is back at work, after his suspension in relation to the Digital Vibes scandal was lifted. Buthelezi was placed on precautionary suspension over his alleged role in the R150 million contract which was unduly rewarded to associates of former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who himself resigned in the wake of the scandal.

The company was first brought on to provide communication expertise on the National Health Insurance, but quickly moved on to COVID-19 messaging.

The SIU found the contract to be highly irregular. It’s also alleged the Mkhize family benefitted handsomely.

Buthelezi took on the DG job in June last year, when the Digital Vibes contract had already been signed off. The problem for Buthelezi comes though, with the fact that he was the accounting official, at the time the contract was approved. And according to the department, there is no way the Digita Vibes contract could have been successfully signed off, without Buthelezi’s approval.

Suspended Health DG reports to work

The Health Ministry said Dr Sandile Buthelezi had been cleared of the charges against him on Monday, 29 November 2021.

“This follows the release of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into the Digital Vibes contract in which a number of officials were implicated, including Dr Buthelezi. He was placed on precautionary suspension to allow the investigation process to run smoothly, and subsequently underwent a disciplinary hearing process chaired by a retired judge,” the health ministry said in a statement.

Buthelezi was suspended in September and had the tough task of proving his innocence to the SIU, in relation to the Digital Vibes saga.

“He was cleared of all charges levelled against him at the hearing process, hence his return to the office. The Ministry of Health would like to wish Dr Buthelezi all the best in fulfilling his duties,”

The Health Ministry

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