South Africa

ANC NEC to discuss Mkhize's fate at next meeting

JOHANNESBURG - As pressure mounts on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire embattled Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the party's national executive is expected to discuss his fate at its next meeting.

The integrity commission has confirmed to Eyewitness News that it has concluded its report.

However, chair of the commission George Mahamba has refused to be drawn on their findings.

Insiders who attended the national working committee said the commission had recommended that Mkhize step aside.

Ramaphosa placed Mkhize on special leave two months ago after he was implicated in the R150 million irregular communications tender awarded to Digital Vibes - a company linked to his close associate.

Ramaphosa said he was still studying the Special Investigative Unit's (SIU) report that found Mkhize and his son benefitted from money meant to help the communication drive around the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources from the NWC, which sat for an ordinary meeting on Monday, said members were yet to receive the SIU report that details how money flowed from Digital Vibes to Mkhize and his son, Dedani.

However, they were informed that the party’s integrity commission has handed over its report to the party’s deputy secretary general.

The NWC did not deliberate on the report as only the NEC has the authority to adopt or reject its recommendations.

However, with Mkhize not criminally charged and the step aside rule that has divided the party only ever been applied on those already before the court, some are predicting a heated meeting could be on the cards.

According to insiders, the ball though is in Ramaphosa’s court as he has the presidential prerogative to fire and hire ministers, those who attended the NWC say he was nudged to wield the axe.

The sources have told Eyewitness News that the NWC also asked Ramaphosa to deal with the security cluster blamed for the country’s slow response to an attempted insurrection last month.

It’s also understood the NWC agrees that the recent violence has its roots in the ANC.

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