Blade Nzimande wants apology from Mthunzi Mdwaba over UIF bribe claim
Higher education, science and innovation minister Blade Nzimande wants a formal written apology within seven days for the bribe allegations made by former Productivity South Africa chairperson and Thuja Capital CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba.
Nzimande said he will serve a cease and desist letter for defamation on Mdwaba.
Mdwaba has accused Nzimande, with ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula and the ministers of labour and finance, of sending people to him in an attempt to solicit a bribe of R500m from the proceeds of R5bn his company would have received for an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) jobs scheme.
He alleges the ministers demanded 10% of the UIF tender deal he was aiming to secure and was removed from Productivity SA when he refused.
To avoid legal action, Nzimande said Mdwaba should issue a formal written apology and immediately cease making further defamatory statements about him in public and in private.
Mdwaba should also refrain from making false statements about him to third parties and request those who have received such statements to disregard them.
“The minister wants to make it clear he is prepared to take all necessary legal action to protect his rights and seek damages for the harm caused by these defamatory statements,” his spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said.
The allegations were not only false but caused substantial harm to Nzimande's reputation and wellbeing.
“The minister dismisses these self-seeking allegations with contempt. The minister values his reputation and integrity and refuses to allow these defamatory statements to go unaddressed.
“Defamation is a serious matter that can have significant legal consequences,” Mnisi said.
Nzimande had neither personally nor delegated anyone to approach Mdwaba in a bid to secure “gateway fees” for a UIF deal.
On Thursday, Mbalula opened a crimen injuria and defeating the ends of justice case against Mdwaba regarding the same claims against him.
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