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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Nxesi denies Mdwaba bribe allegations, threatens legal action

Mdwaba claimed that Nxesi and three other ministers tried to solicit a bribe of 10% of the R5 billion in the deal.

Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi said he will be filing court papers to set aside the R5 billion jobs deal between the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Thuja Capital.

Nxesi briefed the public and the media on the latest processes and actions that he has taken to set the agreement aside after allegations by the Thuja Capital’s CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba.

Mdwaba claimed Nxesi and three other ministers tried to solicit a bribe of 10% of the R5 billion in the deal.

Allegations denied

Nxesi has denied the allegations saying that he only found out about the deal via the media.

“Let me be clear, I categorically deny the recent allegations of corruption. We must ask [why] Mdwaba waited nearly a year to come up with these allegations. Mdwaba will now have to prove these allegations in a court of law.”

“I signed my affidavit in support of the various orders, chief among being the setting aside of the argument.

ALSO READ: Thulas Nxesi denies allegations in R500-million UIF bribery scandal

Urgent application

Nxesi said he brought the application on an urgent basis.

“I have also requested the president to issue a specific proclamation to have this agreement to be investigated by the law enforcement agencies.

“It seems that Mr Mdwaba has not approached the law enforcement authorities to report the alleged crime because he is content with making unsupported allegations against me in the hope that if he throws enough mud, some of it will stick,” Nxesi said.

Mdwaba made the explosive allegations last November that his company was on the cusp of closing the jobs project with the UIF.

However, the deal hit a snag last December after Nxesi announced his department would put on hold the project by the Thuja

Mdwaba said the deal failed because he refused to agree to pay bribes worth R500 million to Nxesi, African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Fikile Mbalula, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Higher Education’s Blade Nzimande.

State capture

The allegations against Nxesi come just over a month after Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests cleared him of any wrongdoing in the complaints arising from the commission of inquiry into state capture reports

A complaint was laid by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in 2020 after controversial businessman Edwin Sodi’s testimony at the Zondo commission, in which he revealed he had paid R45,000 to underprivileged schoolchildren following Nxesi’s request.

Sodi, who was awarded a R255 million asbestos tender in the Free State, was testifying about payments made to “perceived politically connected people”.

However, according to the committee, Nxesi provided an affidavit to the commission that the payment was not for his personal use.

ALSO READ: ‘Story lies in unusual revelation’: Political analyst weighs in on R500m bribery scandal

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