Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has dismissed claims that he is one of three ministers who solicited a bribe of R500 million.
This comes after a Sunday World report fingered Nxesi as being one of the three ministers who solicited a bribe from the CEO of Thuja Capital, Mthunzi Mdwaba, on a R5 billion deal from the Unemployed Insurance Fund’s 250 000 jobs scheme.
Mdwaba alleged that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana sent three ministers to get the money, which was part of a R5bn contract.
However, the minister, through his spokesperson, Sabelo Mali, said these reports were not true.
“We are aware of the new claims attributable to Mdwaba in the Sunday World, and reject with contempt as false and without foundation. The allegations are completely unsupported by facts or any piece of evidence,” Mali said.
On Tuesday, the DA’s spokesperson on employment and labour, Michael Cardo, called on Nxesi to come out and clear his name.
“The minister should respond to the explosive allegation that he – along with two other ministers – attempted to solicit a 10% kickback on the dodgy R5bn UIF/Thuja Capital job-creation deal,” Cardo said.
According to Mdwaba, Nxesi, Godongwana, and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande were the three ministers involved in the bribery scandal.
According to Cardo, Mdwaba also insinuated that Luthuli House, through the ANC secretary-general’s office, tried to get its hands on a piece of the pie.
“It may well be the case that Mr Mdwaba is clutching at straws and making wild accusations in anger after his lucrative deal was blocked. But sadly, the ANC and its executive office bearers have enough form with regards to corruption and bribery to warrant serious concern and further investigation.
“For that reason, it is incumbent upon both Mr Mdwaba to lay charges and Minister Nxesi to dispel the allegations decisively,” Cardo said.
He has also called on Godongwana and Nzimande to come out and clear their names.
“If Mr Mdwaba is tilting at windmills and making up stories to deflect blame, then Minister Nxesi should sue him for defamation,” the DA MP said.
Mdwaba’s company, Thuja Capital, is accused of attempting to solicit R5bn from the UIF, a deal that came with a bribe fee of R500m, allegedly from three ministers.
According to the Sunday World, Mdwaba alleged that Godongwana sent three high-ranking government officials who allegedly told Mdwaba that he must pay a tenth of the R5bn, which would facilitate the deal.
ActionSA spokesperson Lerato Ngobeni has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to launch an SIU investigation into the allegations that three ministers solicited a R500 million bribe from Thuja Capital CEO, Mthunzi Mdwaba.
Ngobeni said the party will be writing to the president urging him to lodge an SIU investigation into the matter allegedly involving Nxesi as well as two other cabinet members in Minister of Finance, Encoh Godongwana, and Minister of Higher Education and Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande.
"If Ramaphosa is, at all, committed to this “renewal” he has been touting since his ascension to the Presidency, he must do the right thing and fire Thulas Nxesi at once and suspend the other two alleged conspirators pending the outcome of a further probe into their involvement,“ Ngobeni said.