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Auditor-General Raised Red Flags About Digital Vibes – Phaahla

Health Minister Joe Phaahla says it was only after the Auditor-general flagged concerns about the Digital Vibes tender, that it was found not to be above board.

A scandal rocked the Health Department earlier this year when the Special Investigating Unit found that a R150-million tender awarded to the company was unlawful.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was in charge when the tender was awarded.

It was later found that the company’s owners were close associates of Mkhize.

Phaahla was speaking to JJ Tabane on Power to Truth.

“You can’t go into details of each and every service, you have accounting officers chief financial officers, and when certain services have been acquired you work with them see them around, they provide certain activities and so on.

“What you assume as a political office bearer, is that this has been done through the normal ways in which service providers are sourced because on a daily basis you know that in terms of events in terms of communication,” Phaahla said.

“We always have over and above the normal officials, you always have experts here and there who come into help setting up this activity providing this, providing sound. Unless something pops up you generally just act on good faith that there’s nothing wrong that these service providers must have gone through the normal service provision.

“It was only when some red flags were raised by the Auditor-General that one became aware that something was not right.”

The minister said the multibillion-rand COVID-19 PPE corruption exposed weaknesses at the Health Department.

He says more oversight mechanisms must be put in place to monitor funds.