President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on special leave.
“This period of special leave will enable the minister to attend to allegations and investigations concerning contracts between the Department of Health and a service provider, Digital Vibes,” the Presidency said in a short statement released on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Special Investigating Unit is investigating this matter and the president awaits a report on the outcome of this probe.”
The Health minister said that he was well aware that the public was disappointed and the mistake he has made.
“The negative discourse has not only had an impact on me, but it is also an impact on my family, but most of all, also it has tainted the teamwork of our government that is led by President Ramaphosa, in our continued efforts to fight COVID-19,” said Mkhize.
“The kind of relationship that was involved was inappropriate, and then of course at the end of it, all those funds need to be returned. The issue was that it was based on a personal relationship as adults and as we have children at this age, they proceed to have relationships which we were not necessarily aware as to what extent they go,” the minister said.