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CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has rallied behind embattled Health Minister Zweli Mkhize defending his decision not to appear before Parliament.
Mkhize was a no-show on Friday morning, citing legal opinion, which recommended that he not attend the meeting to discuss the irregular Digital Vibes contract.
The minister and director general Dr Sandile Buthelezi refused to brief the committee on the matter because of criminal complaints and the SIU investigation.
ANC members of the health committee came to Mkhize’s defence for his non-appearance due to legal concerns.
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ANC MP Tshilidzi Munyai said the minister could not report on an incomplete investigation where he was implicated.
“Also, the other factor that is key as far as the SIU is inconclusive and the minister or the ministry cannot come and report on the matter that is inconclusive by the SIU because the SIU reports before the president.”
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Buthelezi cited the sub judice rule as a reason why he couldn’t brief the committee: “Now that the matter has formally been reported to the SAPS, I’ve also been guided by our attorneys in the department that I should refrain from commenting on the report.”
Committee chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the committee should respect the legal advice that prevented Mkhize from appearing what the department had provided.
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