Johannesburg – The Department of Health has announced the reinstatement of Director-General, Dr. Sandile Buthelezi.
According to a media statement released on Tuesday, Buthelezi is now back in the driving seat as the Accounting Officer of the department with effect from Monday, 29 November 2021.
This follows the release of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into the Digital Vibes contract in which a number of officials were implicated, including Buthelezi.
“He was placed on precautionary suspension to allow the investigation process to run smoothly, and subsequently undergone a disciplinary hearing process chaired by a retired Judge,” the department explained.
The SIU probe showed that the department incurred irregular expenditure amounting to about R150 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of a sum between R72 million and R80 million.
According to the department, he has since been cleared of all charges levelled against him at the hearing process, hence his return to the office.
Addressing the media on Monday on the state of readiness to respond to the new variant, Omicron, Health Minister, Dr. Joe Phaahla, said: “We did get a message yesterday [on Sunday] about the matter affecting the DG, Dr. Buthelezi, which was handled under the Presidency, that his matter has been resolved and that he will be coming back”.
The Minister also took the opportunity to thank Dr. Nicholas Crisp for having held the fort under “very difficult circumstances” for the past two and a half months.
“We will still be with him in his other roles as the DDG in the department and supporting the DG going forward,” he added.
The department has wished Buthelezi all the best in fulfilling his duties.
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