‘A Health Minister fit to fight the current crisis’

Earlier this month Health Ministe Zweli Mkhize was placed on special leave, pending an investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was appointed as Acting Minister of Health.

“Even if the SIU clears Mkhize of any legal wrongdoing, the affair has left his reputation badly tarnished,” reported Marcus Low (Spotlight 25 June 2021).

The most likely scenario is that a new Health Minister is appointed once Ramaphosa receives the SIU report. Unfortunately, none of the obvious candidates from within the ANC are particularly inspiring. “Former Health Ministers, Drs Aaron Motsoaledi and Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, both come with baggage and will face significant resistance. Other potential candidates like former Health MECs Gwen Ramokgopa (Gauteng) and Sibongiseni Dhlomo (KwaZulu-Natal) may be politically connected, but their CVs are, at best, a mixed bag.”

If Ramaphosa appoints an outsider, he would have to give
that person his clear and unambiguous backing. Ultimately, while the Digital Vibes scandal has presented Ramaphosa with a massive headache, it has also presented him with an opportunity to set SA's Covid-19 response on a sounder footing and take an important step toward building a more capable state,
wrote Low.

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