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    Corruption charges levelled against senior health department official

    Senior health department official Popo Maja, has made a court appearance due to corruption charges related to a R150m tender awarded to Digital Vibes.
    Source: Pexels

    He is facing two corruption charges for his alleged involvement in the allocation of a contract intended to provide communication services to the department for the National Health Insurance (NHI) programme, and awarding a Covid-19 media campaign contract, which was scored by Digital Vibes.

    Maja the director of communications at the national Department of Health, served as a member of the bid evaluation committee responsible for evaluating the various bids submitted for the tender.

    During the course of this process, it is alleged that he received two bribes totalling R15,000. The charge sheet indicates that the funds for these alleged bribes were transferred from a Digital Vibes bank account to an account belonging to Tahera Mather.

    Subsequently, it is alleged that the money was deposited into Maja's bank account.

    “The [health] department upholds its position of zero tolerance to fraud and corruption and will allow the legal process to take its course without any interference,” a media statement said.

    “The department believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and procedural fairness will be adhered to in order to afford Maja space and opportunity to deal with the case.”

    Following his surrender to the police, Maja appeared in the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court on Wednesday morning, 21 June.

    As a result of allegations linking Maja to the alleged owners of Digital Vibes, Mather and Naadhira Mitha, former health minister Zweli Mkhize resigned amid the Digital Vibes scandal.

    The Special Investigating Unit is currently investigating the matter.

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