Minister of Employment & Labour Thulas Nxesi, has filed a court application to set aside a R5bn Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) job-creation project.

Cape Times report says Nxesi – accused alongside two other Cabinet Ministers as well as ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula – of attempting to solicit a bribe of R500m from the UIF’s now failed R5bn job creation scheme by Thuja Capital CEO, Mthunzi Mdwaba, has spoken out publicly for the first time since these allegations surfaced three weeks ago.

Yesterday Nxesi said that in January 2023, Acting DG Mzie Yawa informed Mdwaba that the agreement was unlawful as the project had to first be approved by the Labour and Finance Ministers.

‘I heard of this agreement only through media reports. The media raised several concerns about the process followed and the capacity of Thuja to deliver on the signed agreement. Following initial probing, I established that approvals by the UIF governance processes, including the interim Labour Activation Programme National Adjudication Committee, were not obtained and consequently instructed the accounting officer, in January 2023, to suspend the implementation of the project, and to stop any contemplated payments to Thuja. Today, acting as the executive authority of DEL, I signed my affidavit, and we are filing a court application to set this agreement aside.’

The Minister also ‘categorically denied’ the allegations against him and other Ministers.

‘Let me be clear, I categorically deny the recent allegations of corruption. You 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,’ the Minister said.

Full Cape Times report