Department of Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, has welcomed the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, judgement which on Friday dismissed, with punitive costs, an application by Thunja Capital CEO, Mthunzi Mdwaba seeking an order for Nxesi to release documents which were served on him and his legal team on November 24.
Mdwaba had in the past requested the documents but his application was struck from the court roll.
This comes after Mdwaba accused Nxesi and other high-profile politicians of trying to solicit a bribe of R500 million from a UIF scheme aimed at creating jobs.
This legal blow follows hot on the heels of last week’s Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, judgment which ruled that Mdwaba’s allegations against Minster of Finance Enoch Godongwana were without substance and unlawful.
On January 25, Deputy Judge President Ledwaba directed Mdwaba to file answering papers by January 30 after he on two separate occasions failed to comply with filing deadlines, making it impossible for Nxesi’s case to proceed.
In a statement, spokesperson for the UIF, Trevor Hattingh, said Mdwaba, who is an admitted attorney and who understands legal processes, should have known better and refrained from “irresponsibly and recklessly” embarking on an elaborate smear campaign against Nxesi.
“Mdwaba, who is an admitted attorney and who understands legal processes, irresponsibly and recklessly embarked on an elaborate smear campaign against the minister for executing his oversight duty over the Employment and Labour Department by stopping the implementation of a contract which the minister believes did not comply with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.”
Hattingh said the court agreed with Nxesi’s legal counsel;s observation that Mdwaba’s application was an abuse of court processes and a desperate attempt to delay the court matter.
“The court concurred with counsel for Minister Thulas Nxesi who argued that the application was nothing but an abuse of court processes and a desperate attempt to further delay and frustrate Minister Nxesi’s case for a declaratory order on the unlawful R5 billion agreement, and to interdict Mdwaba from propagating despicable lies and defamatory allegations about the minister in the public domain,” said Hattingh.
Hattingh, on behalf of the minister, said now that the court had dismissed the matter, the minister would be able to put the matter behind him and focus on the main case against Mdwaba.
“After dismissing Mdwaba’s vexatious interlocutory application, the arguments for the application brought by Minister Nxesi started, thus finally enabling the court to rule on the declaratory order for the unlawful R5 billion agreement, and stopping Mdwaba from his defamatory accusations,” he said.
Hattingh added that the minister’s legal team by end of Friday had not completed their arguments on the main case, adding that the case would proceed on a date to be communicated by the court to all parties involved.
“The minister anticipates the court’s earliest available date to end Mr Mthunzi’s unsolicited, co-ordinated attacks to the rule of law, our constitutional and democratic state.”
Reacting to the judgment, Mdwaba said he would now focus his energies on the main case.
“The court has just refused to grant us an order to be provided with the documents we require to run our matter. Now we are proceeding to the main case,” said Mdwaba on Friday.