Ramaphosa appoints Mathume Joseph Phaahla as Health Minister
On August 5, Pres Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Mathume Joseph (Joe) Phaahla as the new Health Minister following the Digital Vibesscandal and suspended Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s subsequent resignation. Phaala, who, was appointed deputy Health Minister in 2014, first served under Aaron Motsoaledi, and, more recently, under Zweli Mkhize.
“Phaahla’s long career in politics has given him the skill to deftly steer clear of the controversies that tainted Mkhize’s tenure. He avoided getting drawn into his predecessor’s public row with Medical Research Council president Glenda Gray over her forthright critique of the government’s lockdown regulations. He also appears untainted by the Digital Vibes scandal that engulfed Mkhize and several senior Health Department officials,” reported Business Day (6 August 2021).