Did Minister Nxesi try to solicit R500 million bribe over botched UIF/Thuja deal?

Issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Employment and Labour
07 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Michael Cardo MP

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, should respond to the explosive allegation that he – along with two other Ministers – attempted to solicit a 10 percent kickback on the dodgy R5 billion Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)/ Thuja Capital job-creation deal.

Thuja Capital CEO (and former chair of Productivity SA) Mthunzi Mdwaba has claimed that three high-ranking government intermediaries approached him to facilitate bribes on behalf of Minister Nxesi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Mdwaba also avers that Luthuli House, through the ANC secretary general’s office, tried to get its grubby 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.

If Mr Mdwaba is tilting at windmills and making up stories to deflect blame, then Minister Nxesi should sue him for defamation.

For several months the DA has been trying to obtain some clarity about the murky UIF/Thuja deal by getting the Minister to account to Parliament and to update the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour on the forensic investigation into the matter.

At every turn we have been thwarted by the Chair of the portfolio committee, Ms Lindelwa Dunjwa.

Minister Nxesi must break his silence. This is all the more urgent now that Mthunzi Mdwaba appears to have gone rogue and the Director-General in the Department, Thobile Lamati, has resigned following the scandal.

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