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Pleading for time and space — which the department of health did this week, as allegations of gross financial misconduct were ventilated against minister Zweli Mkhize and a handful of family and friends — is a bit like being caught robbing a bank, then asking the cops to hold off while the getaway driver brings the car around.

The department’s statement was both plaintive and risible. "We wish to plead with the media and members of the public that the department be give [sic] more time," it said. "It would not at all serve much of a purpose if allegations that are under investigation are responded to publicly and not through an already established formal investigative process that will lead to proper legal recourse/action being taken."..

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