Court silences Mthunzi Mdwaba’s R500 million bribe claims, and declares R5 billion Thuja Capital UIF deal invalid

Thuja Capital CEO, Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba. File Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Thuja Capital CEO, Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba. File Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 19, 2024


The High Court in Pretoria has set aside the R5 billion deal between Mthunzi Mdwaba, chief executive officer of Thuja Holdings, and former chair of Productivity SA, which was concluded in December 2022 with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), a state entity established in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

The court ruled that the deal is invalid, and also interdicted Mdwaba from making further defamatory remarks against Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Mdwaba had gone public, on numerous media platforms, claiming that Nxesi solicited a R500 million bribe for the mega deal to be implemented.

Mdwaba had also repeatedly claimed that officials acting on behalf of three Cabinet ministers attempted to solicit 10% kickbacks from the irregular R5 billion deal.

On Friday, Acting Judge Japie Maritz ordered that Mdwaba should refrain from making the defamatory allegations against Nxesi.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena.

Last year, IOL reported that the man who dropped the bombshell implicating Nxesi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, as well as the African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula in an alleged grand scale tender bribe, insisted that he stands by his words.

Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana. File Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Godongwana has acquired a court interdict against Mdwaba from making the allegations.

Mdwaba previously said the three Cabinet ministers approached him, through emissaries, demanding “gateway fees” of R500 million, which would be 10% of a R5 billion Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) deal, which he had secured as seed capital to create employment for 250,000 people, in a jobs scheme.

Following Mdwaba’s revelations, the accused ministers and Mbalula have taken legal action, with the ANC secretary-general opening a crimen injuria case at the Sandton police station. The ministers and Mbalula wanted Mdwaba to apologise.