Ramaphosa backs ex-minister Zweli Mkhize implicated over graft

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize despite corruption allegations against him – which he has denied.

President Ramaphosa said the former minister had “served the nation well” citing his contribution to the health sector especially his role in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also asked South Africans to be more considerate.

“Much as we want to be gung-ho and send people to the gallows and all that… we also need to recognise some of the things they have done. Dr Mkhize has served the nation well,” he said at a press briefing late on Wednesday.

An investigation by the country’s Special Investigating Unit found Dr Mkhize guilty of a “lack of oversight” in the scandal involving the awarding of a $10m (£7.4m) Covid-19 communication contract.

Money from the deal was used to buy Dr Mkhize’s son a car, and he was also given around $20,000, the probe found.

He has denied any wrongdoing.