Cosatu welcomes setting aside of R5 billion contract awarded to Thuja Capital

Cosatu acting national spokesperson Matthew Parks

Cosatu acting national spokesperson Matthew Parks

Published Apr 22, 2024


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has welcomed a Pretoria High Court judgement that set aside the R5 billion contract awarded to Thuja Capital.

On Friday, the high court ruled that the Thuja Capital deal was invalid, and also interdicted Mthunzi Mdwaba, chief executive officer of Thuja Holdings, from making further defamatory remarks against Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Mdwaba had claimed that Nxesi solicited a R500 million bribe for the deal to be implemented.

He had also implicated Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, as well as ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula in the alleged tender bribe.

Cosatu’s acting national spokesperson Matthew Parks said the labour federation was shocked in 2023 by seemingly “very suspicious and underhanded” attempts to siphon R5 billion from the UIF to what appeared to be a get rich scheme by Thuja Capital.

“We welcome the Minister for Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi’s appointment of a forensic audit into this scurrilous failed deal. It is critical this report be released to the public and that its recommendations on action to be taken against persons found wanting inside and outside the state be effected,” Parks said.

He also said it was not enough for alleged corrupt or illegal activities to be stopped.

“Those who are accused need to be held accountable under the law. We cannot expect to change an endemic culture of corruption and criminality if we treat those found wanting with kid gloves,” Parks said.

He added that Cosatu urged Minister for Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi to expedite plans to overhaul the Unemployment Insurance Fund to ensure that workers can apply for with ease and receive their monies timeously.

“This long-overdue modernisation and cleansing of the UIF needs to begin as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Parks said expert assistance from the South African Revenue Service needs to be roped in to help ensure that the UIF’s systems are rebuilt, ready to serve workers, efficient and transparent, and protected from corruption.

“The days of allowing a corrupt elite to feast at the expense of workers needs to come to an end.”

Cape Times