The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) revealed on Wednesday that it had secured a preservation order to freeze banks accounts and investments linked to Digital Vibes, amounting to R22-million.
This also includes accounts linked to individuals who have received payments from Digital Vibes, the communications firm apparently controlled by former aids of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The SIU is probing an expose by the Daily Maverick that Mkhize’s department irregularly awarded a R150-million contract in 2019 to Digital Vibes to provide communication services for government’s National Health Insurance and, later, the Covid-19 response.
The Special Tribunal granted the order on June 17 following information uncovered by the SIU and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), between 4 and 14 June. The FIC assisted in placing the accounts and investments on hold.
“The Special Tribunal Order, inter alia, prohibits Digital Vibes, Tahera Mather, Naadhira Mitha, Suhaila Mather, Suhaila Mather Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Amods Attorneys, WT Graphics and Designs (Pty) Ltd, and Strategeewhiz (Pty) Ltd (the 1st Respondent and the 5th to 11th Respondents) from dealing with the funds held in the relevant bank and investment accounts in any manner,” the SIU said.
It will launch review proceedings in the Special Tribunal within 30 working days and will seek an order asking entities and individuals to pay back the money lost by the State.
The SIU will refer any criminal evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.