HEALTH Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has rubbished claims that he owns a personal protective equipment company as fake news, saying he not in any way involved in the manufacturing of PPEs.
His spokesperson Dr Lwazi Manzi in a statement said none of his family or relatives were involved or linked to any company that was manufacturing protective gears.
Manzi said she was responding to a message that has done the rounds on all social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
She said she hoped this clarified the matter and urged the originators of the fake message and those who shared it to issue a correction and threatened that the minister would not hesitate to take legal action.
“Creating (and) advancing fake news remains an offense under the National State of Disaster & the Department of Health will not hesitate to take action against those found to be creating or perpetuating fake news. This kind of content is damaging to the reputation of honest, hard working members of the executive. It distracts away from and undermines the important work of fighting the Coronavirus,” she said in the statement.
Lwazi asked members of the public to be wary of social media content lest they become agents of fake news.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and the best way to fight it is by arming ourselves with facts and sound knowledge that empowers us to defeat the Coronavirus,” she said.
The rumors comes as several senior members of the governing party or their families are caught on protective gear tenders scandals and calls by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for a crackdown on the pandemic tenders scandals.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has also established a ministerial task team to probe the irregular awarding of PPEs scandals.