Dr Sleazy Mkhize

David Bullard writes on the Health Ministry's R150m 'Digital Vibes' scandal


If you have scrolled down the webpage of the Daily Maverick all you will have seen over the past few months is a rogue’s gallery of connected ANC cadres (Anoj Singh, Malusi Gigaba, Ace Magushule, Dudu Myeni and Jacob Zuma to give just one day’s example of featured lowlifes) who have been busy ripping the rest of South Africa off.

The photos of smirking connected crooks, confident in the knowledge that they will almost certainly never be prosecuted, seems to suggest that there is an unofficial internal competition within the ANC to see who can steal the most.

Hot on the heels of the revelation that just under R50 billion of public money has been filched courtesy of the Gupta’s and their ANC connected patsies came Pieter Louis-Myburgh’s excellent investigative journalism which revealed that Health Minister Dr Zweli (Sleazy) Mkhize’s close comrades have planted their snouts firmly in the trough during the Covid epidemic.

Sleazy’s initial reaction was that this was news to him and he knew nothing of the odd goings on at the strangely named ‘Digital Vibes’ (which sounds more like an EDM band) who had been charging large sums of money to arrange for the Minister of Health to address the nation about COVID on state owned television. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

The cherry on the top of this one is that the Managing Director of Digital Vibes worked as a petrol pump attendant in Stanger, among her other tasks. I guess if you are going to start a scam to take the piss out of the rest of the country’s citizens then you may as well go the whole hog.

Dr Sleazy’s protestations of innocence didn’t ring quite so true when Myburgh revealed that R300 000 had been paid to Dr Sleazy’s son Dedani for no apparent good reason. I have no doubt that more dirt will follow; as if this isn’t enough.

Meanwhile, what is to be done about Dr Sleazy? Well, based on the ANC’s past performance not very much. He may have to attend an internal disciplinary hearing and possibly get his wrist slapped but all he’s done is become an honourable life member of the ‘us comrades didn’t join the struggle to be poor’ brigade.

It can be no accident that the letters ANC appear in correct order in the word ANarChy. Normally, of course, anarchy is something a group of grumpy citizens get up to in protest against what they regard as an overly excessive government. In South Africa’s case we have what I would call top-down anarchy with the government themselves showing complete contempt and disregard for the rule of law and due legal process.

Predictably there are now media calls for Dr Sleazy to resign but that brings with it further troubles. “Is there a doctor in the house?” Well, actually there is and it’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who comes with her own very dubious history of malpractice. What is it with medics who get into politics? Do they just enjoy swapping the Hippocratic oath for the Hypocritic oath?

What should happen in the real world is that a fleet of cars with blue lights should turn up to arrest those who have managed to divert R150mln (and counting apparently) from the Health Ministry and use it for foreign holidays, home improvements, designer handbags, five star dining, luxury vehicles and whatever else tenderpreneurs like to spend taxpayer money on to make themselves appear socially acceptable. But that won’t happen. It probably won’t even get to court because that’s not how it works down here on the Southern Tip.

Judge Edwin Cameron wrote a piece for Daily Maverick last week on why prisoners should also be vaccinated. He made the following observation which I found very interesting:

“Nearly one-third of those in prison are remand detainees. They are awaiting trial, not convicted. Though suspected of a crime, they are, like you and me, members of the public.”

Obviously Judge Cameron must know what he’s talking about so how come, if a third of our prisoners are remand detainees, awaiting trial and not convicted, are we unable as a society to imprison bent politicians with the enormous amount of hard evidence against them produced by our leading investigative journalists?

It makes no sense at all. The rogues gallery mentioned in paragraph one above should have been processed through the court system long ago. The fact that they may not, thanks to the intervention of the party that claims to govern the country, means that South Africa’s future looks more depressing by the day.

In fact, if we follow the example of other corrupt regimes it’s far more likely that the investigative journos and politically incorrect loudmouths like me will be the ones seeing the inside of a prison cell.


There was a predictable hue and cry in both mainstream and social media last week at the very sensible suggestion that those applying for a gun license in future would not be allowed to put down ‘self defence’ as a reason for wanting to own a firearm. Anyone who saw the photos of mountains of paper at the Central Firearms Registry a couple of weeks ago will know that the chances of ever again seeing the unlicensed gun you handed in at the end of January as part of the firearms moratorium are remote.

It’s probably already been sold to a gangster. Similarly, those who have applied under the old rules for a firearm license will find themselves waiting months if not years if the pictures from the Central Firearms Registry give any clue as to efficiency.

I mentioned that it is a ‘sensible’ suggestion so perhaps I should explain my thinking. The ANC must by now realize how hated they have become and are clearly getting very edgy about the possibility of a popular uprising a la French revolution.

If this happened to involve firearms things could get very ugly indeed. So what any unpopular regime prefers to do is to disarm it’s citizens and arm its police and military. This is why you don’t get too much backchat from Chinese citizens as Hong Kong has also learnt to its great cost.

The solution though is simple. We whites need to embrace our Africanness. The whole idea of gun licenses is a colonial construct and has no business existing in Africa. We need to follow our political leader’s examples and treat the law with the contempt it deserves. If you want a gun then just contact your friendly local gangster and get hold of one with a few rounds of ammunition.

Should the cops cut up rough and summon you to court then send a note to the magistrate saying you’re sick that day or you haven’t got the petrol money. That way lies true equality before the law.


Ending on a sweet note, a bottle of 1821 Grand Constance sold at the Cape Fine and Rare Wine Auction last week for a record breaking R420 000. Whether this is a record price paid for a bottle of wine or a record price paid for a bottle of 1821 Grand Constance is unclear from the news report.

The problem with paying that amount for one bottle of wine is deciding who on earth to drink it with. And would it be considered vulgar to display the bottle on the sideboard so your guests know they are getting a R420 000 wine with their apple crumble and custard?

I suspect the bottle has been bought as a collector’s item with a view to finding a higher bidder in the future. Which is a pity because it’s a damn fine wine. I know because I drank some at a wine tasting in Joburg back in the 1980’s.

It was exactly the same vintage and the prestigious wine society of which I was then secretary arranged a spectacular sweet wine tasting in Johannesburg hosted by Michael Fridjhon. The tasting included examples of most of the great sweet wines of the world and ended with the 1821 which, to make sure nobody was short-changed, had been measured out with a pipette.

While not a mouthful it was more than enough to get some idea of the magnificence of the wine that the exiled Napoleon (although he wouldn’t have tasted this vintage because he died in 1821) loved so much.

The wine was delicious and a few weeks later the wine glass, which had been covered with cling-film, smelt of spices; probably because the wine would have been transported in the same ship as spices. I contacted the society’s past chairman this week and he reckons we paid R700 on auction for our bottle. That almost makes up for missing out on Bitcoin doesn’t it?