Digital Vibes: Health DG Sandile Buthelezi's suspension lifted

30th November 2021 By: News24Wire

Nearly three months after being suspended, national health department director-general Sandile Buthelezi has been reinstated in his position. 

Buthelezi was suspended in September for his alleged role in the R150-million Digital Vibes communications contract given to close associates of former health minister Zweli Mkhize.  

Mkhize resigned earlier this year after being placed on special leave. 

Buthelezi started working as the director-general in June 2020, after the contract had been awarded. 

Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said Buthelezi had been cleared of all charges.

"He was placed on precautionary suspension to allow the investigation process to run smoothly and subsequently undergone a disciplinary hearing process chaired by a retired judge.

"He was cleared of all charges levelled against him at the hearing process, hence his return to the office." 

Mohale said Buthelezi returned to work on Monday.

Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general responsible for National Health Insurance, acted in the position during Buthelezi's suspension.  

On Monday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla announced Buthelezi had been reinstated.  

"Let me thank Dr Crisp, who has been holding the fort for the last two and [a] half months. We did get a message... through the presidency that his [Buthelezi's] matter has been resolved, and he will be coming back."

Other officials still on suspension in relation to the Digital Vibes scandal are former health department acting-director-general Anban Pillay, departmental spokesperson Popo Maja and three other officials.