The Department of Health’s director-general, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Digital Vibes tender and is back at work. Picture: @CDCSouthAfrica/Twitter
The Department of Health’s director-general, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Digital Vibes tender and is back at work. Picture: @CDCSouthAfrica/Twitter

Health DG Dr Sandile Buthelezi cleared of wrongdoing after signature found on Digital Vibes tender; reinstated to his post

By Gcwalisile Khanyile Time of article published Nov 30, 2021

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DURBAN - The director-general of the national Department of Health, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Digital Vibes saga and reinstated to his post, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday.

Buthelezi was suspended after his signature was found in the controversial R150-million Digital Vibes tender for the implementation of a communication strategy for the National Health Insurance plan.

He was among senior officials who were implicated in the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into the Digital Vibes investigation.

The contract was found to have been irregular.

The Health Department’s Foster Mohale said: “The Ministry of Health would like to announce the reinstatement of the director-general, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, back to his role as the accounting officer of the National Department of Health with effect from Monday, 29 November 2021.”

Mohale said Buthelezi was placed on precautionary suspension to allow the investigation process to run smoothly, and subsequently underwent 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. The Ministry of Health would like to wish Dr Buthelezi all the best in fulfilling his duties,” Mohale said.

A legal opinion prepared by senior counsel advocate Steven Budlender exonerated senior officials, including former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

It found that Mkhize had acted within the bounds of the law.

“We are of the opinion that the department’s practice of seeking approval from the minister for various decisions with financial implications, after they have been recommended by the director-general, is lawful,” the Budlender report read.

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