Health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The knives, quite rightly, are out for Zweli Mkhize — and the embattled health minister has only himself to blame.

At a press conference last week, he announced that an investigation had found that a R150m contract awarded by the health department to a company called Digital Vibes, run by his former PA, Naadhira Mitha, and his political adviser Tahera Mather, was "irregular", and R37m spent was "fruitless and wasteful".

But he also claimed he was "shocked" by what happened and hadn’t seen any of the invoices, and he said: "I have not personally benefited from this contract."

So how then do we interpret the revelations by Daily Maverick that Digital Vibes had actually paid for work at a Bryanston house owned by his family trust, and had paid his son R300,000? And a report by the Sunday Times that, unusually, Mkhize had personally signed off the Digital Vibes contract?

Mkhize will surely know that in politics it’s often the cover-up, not the crime, that proves fatal. Most famously, US president Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 not because of the bug planted in the Watergate complex but because of the aggressive cover-up he launched afterwards.

Mkhize is adamant he won’t resign. But if it is proved that he wasn’t telling the truth about those home repairs, his tenure will come to a rapid halt.

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