Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File photo: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA).
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an investigation into Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi on allegations of maladministration, abuse of power, irregular appointments, nepotism and irregular procurement procedures during his tenure at the Department of Public Works.

In a letter to Nxesi, dated October 25, and seen by Independent Media, Mkhwebane called on the minister to provide answers related to the investigation.

Her investigation follows an anonymous complaint by a former public works employee who accused Nxesi, who is also the chairperson of the SACP, of appointing or promoting to senior managerial positions women with whom he had sexual relations.

The 10-page letter, which was acknowledged by Nxesi on Monday, contained a litany of allegations, including the appointments of SACP comrades to positions within the department.

The complainant alleged that the following people were appointed illegally and for nefarious motives:

Clive Mtshisa - appointed as the deputy director-general of corporate services to manage the deployment of SACP members to the department.

Fikile Hugo - appointed as chief director of the department by Mtshisa and Imtiaz Fazel without the position being advertised.

David Malobe - appointed as director for supply chain management by Mtshisa and placed in the Pretoria region to control the biggest contracts in the area.

Bonakele Amos Majuba, SACP Mpumalanga secretary - appointed as a director in 2006 for a year without the position being advertised. He allegedly earned a salary without setting foot in the department.

The other people named were Nkosana Kubeka, Daya Govender, Samuel Thobakgale, GB Mokgoro, Paul Serote, Unathi Prudence Kunju, SV Bavuma and SA Patel.

Apart from the alleged irregular appointments, Nxesi is accused of appointing and promoting women in exchange for sexual favours.

“It is alleged that money meant for aiding projects were never used for that purpose, instead it was channelled to various state entities including the Special Investigating Unit amounting to R400 million. It is alleged that from 2013, yourself and Mr Mokgoro illegally benefited from foreign aid meant for Expanded Public Works Programme and other unnamed related programmes,” said Mkhwebane.

Nxesi has been given 14 days to respond to all the allegations.

On Saturday, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo dismissed allegations levelled against members as “malicious, baseless, and manufactured to implicate the party in wrongdoing”.

Nxesi’s spokesperson Sabelo Mali said the minister was not in the country, but would be responding to Mkhwebane.

Political Bureau