African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has laid crimen injuria charges against Thuja Capital CEO, Mthunzi Mdwaba at the Sandton police station.
Mbalula has also sent a lawyers letter to Mdwaba to retract the allegations, failing which he will take him to court.
Mdwaba made allegations that Mbalula and three other ministers attempted to seek a bribe of R500 million from him.
Mdwaba alleged that Mbalula, Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, and Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, were among those who sought to bribe him to give the green light to his R5 billion tender with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
In opening a case at the Sandton police station on Thursday, Mbalula said he was not involved in a bribery scandal as alleged by Mdwaba.
“I have opened a case of crimen injuria against Mdwaba today because I want to make a clear statement on behalf of my family and the African National Congress,” he said.
He denied the allegations made against him by Mdwaba.
He also asked Mdwaba to retract the allegations and if he fails he will take him to court.
“I have this morning instructed my lawyers to send a letter of demand to Mthunzi Mdwaba. Should he fail to retract all his malicious and defamatory statements about me, my legal team will approach our courts to compel him and seek appropriate relief,” said Mbalula.
He said the allegations attacked not only his family, but the ANC as well.
In a statement, Mbalula also said that Mdwaba was under investigation by the Department of Labour and Employment for attempting to redirect funds of South Africans put there by hard-working South Africans to his own private company.
“Instead of addressing allegations against him, Mthunzi Mdwaba elected to mount a slanderous campaign against Ministers and myself and by extension the oldest liberation movement in Africa, the ANC.
“Owing to my elected position an allegation against me impugns not just my family name but the immediate institution I am associated with and that is the ANC,” said Mbalula.
He said it has become easy to soil one another with the corruption tag in the country’s political landscape.
“Corruption eats away at the very important gains of democracy, it defers the dreams of the entire nation, black and white,” he said.
Nxesi dismissed the allegations as false and pointed out that the attack by Mdwaba had been going on for two years.
“The attacks on myself by Mdwaba began two years ago when we were obliged to withdraw our support for his candidacy for a position in the ILO (International Labour Organisation),” he said.
He said Mdwaba blamed him for this. After the media exposed the R5 billion UIF deal, Nxesi said he acted immediately to stop any payment, even in the face of Mdwaba's threats of legal action, which was safeguarding public funds.
“I then called for a forensic investigation, which pointed to irregularities, including a conflict of interest: Mdwaba was both Chair of Productivity SA (an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour) and CEO of Thuja,” he said.
Furthermore, Nxesi assured the public that the R5 billion of public funds in question would not be released to Mdwaba’s private company.
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana threatened to take legal action against Mdwaba if he did not issue a public apology for his allegations within a week.