South Africa’s health minister put on leave over contract

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize has been placed on special leave over a corruption scandal involving an irregular government contract. The contract saw $11 million paid by the health department Mkhize heads to a company connected to two people who used to work for him. Mkhize has been spearheading the COVID-19 response in South Africa, which has the most cases and deaths in Africa. The move was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement from his office Tuesday. It said Mkhize was placed on special leave “to attend to allegations and investigations” around the irregular contract. South Africa’s minister of tourism will stand in as the acting minister of health.