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South Africans shouldn't be fooled by Mkhize's special leave 'whitewash' - DA MP

9 June 2021 10:54 AM
Tags:
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize
Mkhize special leave
Digital Vibes scandal

Early Breakfast host Africa Melane chats to DA MP and labour law expert Michael Bagraim about Minister Zweli Mkhize's special leave.
  • DA MP Michael Bagraim says 'special leave' is not a legitimate labour law process
  • He says President Cyril Ramaphosa should suspend Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
  • The labour law expert suspects that the 'special leave' announcement on Tuesday was politically orchestrated
A digitally edited image of President Cyril Ramaphosa's and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's portrait pictures. Picture: PresidencyZA & Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

Democratic Alliance (DA) member of Parliament (MP) and labour law expert Michael Bagraim says the South African public should not be fooled by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's special leave.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday placed Mkhize on special leave to allow him time to deal with the investigation into the irregular Digital Vibes tender.

RELATED: It's implausible that Mkhize knew nothing about Digital Vibes deal - Peter Bruce

Mkhize has been implicated in the dodgy R150 million communications contract that his department awarded to Digital Vibes, a company linked to two of his close associates.

Bagraim, who's the DA's Parliamentary labour spokesperson, says Mkhize should have been suspended instead of being granted special leave.

Bagraim says special leave is a "whitewash" that is not legally recognised.

RELATED: Placing Mkhize on special leave would send a good signal, says Chris Vick

The labour law expert argues that Ramphosa's special leave announcement was politically orchestrated as it came shortly after Mkhize addressed the media about the Digital Vibes allegations.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa says he'll wait for the outcome of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation before he takes any further action.

RELATED: Pressure mounts on Ramaphosa to replace Mkhize over Digital Vibes scandal

The reality is that special leave is something that doesn't exist in law... No one really knows what special leave actually means... It doesn't exist on paper anyway and it doesn't exist within the ANC's policies at all. It is a whitewash, there are no two ways about it.

Michael Bagraim, Parliamentary Labour Spokesperson - DA

We're in mid-air. I presume the President would do the right thing and approach the ANC and say "We must put the man on suspension so that everyone in the public knows where we stand".

Michael Bagraim, Parliamentary Labour Spokesperson - DA

When you have some allegation of this nature, you normally suspend a person... It seems to be almost pussyfooting around the personality or power of Dr. Mkhize.

Michael Bagraim, Parliamentary Labour Spokesperson - DA

I suspect that it was told to Mkhize that, "Maybe you should ask for the special leave so it doesn't look so bad" but at the end of the day, the public can see through all this.

Michael Bagraim, Parliamentary Labour Spokesperson - DA

Tourism Minister Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will fill Mkhize's shoes as South Africa grapples with the crucial third wave of the coronavirus.

CapeTalk has had other conversations about Mkhize's special leave since it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

  • Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood chats to John Maytham about Mkhize's special leave

Social justice activist and the editor of Maverick Citizen, Mark Heywood, says the move is a significant step in the right direction for governance.

However, Heywood says he's concerned about how Mkhize's special leave will affect the government's response to the Covid-19 crisis.

  • Daily Maverick associate editor Brooks Spector chats to Aubrey Masango about Mkhize's special leave

Daily Maverick associate editor Brooks Spector says it appears that Mkhize is becoming a political liability due to the Digital Vibes allegations which are overshadowing his ministry's Covid-19 response.




9 June 2021 10:54 AM
Tags:
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize
Mkhize special leave
Digital Vibes scandal

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