It’s now emerged former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s associates blew at least R1 million of your tax money on expensive shopping sprees and home upgrades during the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Daily Maverick‘s latest expose by Scorpio, details have emerged of how money paid to Digital Vibes – which scored a R150 million contract for communication campaigns around the pandemic – was splurged by Mkhize’s longtime associate Tahera Mather.
Earlier this month, the Special Investigating Unit briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the scandal.
The SIU said even though it had already handed over its the report on the Digital Vibes probe to President Cyril Ramaphosa, investigators continud to collect more evidence.
Mather splurged on expensive luxuries with money paid by you, the taxpayer, through the health department that was meant for crucial COVID-19 communication campaigns.
_Scorpio _detailed these expenses, which include a month-long holiday in Turkey while South Africans had to battle through the height of the pandemic.
She allegedly paid municipal bills and private security to look after her property, grocery bills, renovations to her house and expensive kitchen appliances.
But she also dropped R90,000 at a Gucci store. The publication further claims that R100 million was funnelled to implicated parties in the alleged looting companies and accounts controlled by Mather and her family.
Mkhize’s former personal assistant Naadhira Mitha apparently also benefitted. This all apparently happened during the second wave of COVID-19 infections when the person controlling the Digital Vibes Funds was sitting in another country.
Part of the SIU’s investigation involves efforts to recoup some of the money that was looted.