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Mkhize’s special leave must not shield him from having to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Health

The request by the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, to go on special leave was just granted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, but this must not shield him from having to appear before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health.

The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will serve as the Acting Minister of Health in Mkhize's place.

During last Friday's Committee session, the FF Plus asked Parliament's legal division to provide clarity on the matter of whether the Minister had a valid reason not to appear before the Committee because according to the ANC, the case is sub judice.

The FF Plus and other opposition parties did not agree with the ANC as the case is currently only being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the police.

Today, Parliament's legal division stated in writing to the chairperson of the Committee that the case is not sub judice and that the Committee has a constitutional duty to hold the Minister accountable.

The FF Plus strongly believes that the Minister must still appear before the Portfolio Committee on Health to answer any unanswered questions and that Mkhize's special leave must not serve as a back door for him to get out of appearing before the Committee.

In the FF Plus's view, there is currently a lot of confusion about various matters and only the Minister himself can shed more light on it.

Mkhize's statement that he takes full responsibility and apologises unreservedly for the disruption caused by this amid the fight against Covid-19 and his statement that he did not sign a contract, but only a memo, are what caused this confusion.

Although Mkhize did not offer to resign, there is clearly more to the matter than meets the eye. And it must be revealed and clarified.

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