Senior politicians embroiled in Mdwaba bribery scandal deny any wrongdoing

todayNovember 10, 2023 116

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Cabinet Ministers, Blade Nzimande, Thulas Nxesi and ANC Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula, have rejected the bribery claims levelled against them by Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba as defamatory.

The controversial businessman and scholar is accusing government officials of trying to solicit a R500 million bribe from a R5 billion UIF deal to create jobs.

Mdwaba claims he was approached by three high-ranking government officials who solicited the bribe, claiming they were sent by the implicated ministers.

Mbalula has since opened a case of crimen injuria against Mdwaba, seeking that he retracts the alleged defamatory statements made against him.

He says it has become too easy to soil one another with the corruption tag in the South African political parlance.

“It is in my considered view, and I remain steadfast in that my image and my dignity as a human being has been dented by this reckless and unfounded utterances by Mthunzi Mdwaba. It is further my view that this distasteful depiction violated my right to dignity as contained in the constitution of our country.”

The ANC top official says he sent his lawyers to furnish Mdwaba with a letter of demands.

“Should he fail to retract all his malicious and defamatory statements about me, my legal team will approach our courts to compel him and seek appropriate relief,” says Mbalula.

“Our society, our families, our children should not be subjected to acrimonious, malicious and reckless statements, causing irreparable, emotional and psychological harm,” he added.

Nzimande to issue cease-and-desist letter

Minister Blade Nzimande is planning on serving a cease-and-desist letter for defamation to Professor Mdwaba.

He says the allegations are not only false, but have also caused substantial harm to his reputation and well-being.

Nzimande says he is prepared to take all necessary legal actions to protect his rights and seek damages for the harm caused.

The Minister is demanding that Mdwaba immediately cease to making any further defamatory; issue a formal written apology within seven days and refrain from making any false statements about the Minister to any third parties.

Minister Nzimande has also requested those who have received the defamatory statements from Mdwaba to disregard them.

He says should Mdwaba fail to comply with his demands, he will have no option but to take legal action against him.

‘Targeted for stopping an unlawful tender’

Minister Nxesi claims Mdwaba started attacking him two years ago after they withdrew support for his candidacy for the position of International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Nxesi says Mdwaba’s latest attack comes after he stopped the scholar’s suspicious R5 billion tender.

“This is false and without foundation not one iota of evidence is provided in what is a self-seeking attempt to divert attention from the issues around the R5 billion Thuja scheme.”

Mdwaba has labelled Minister Nxesi a chronic liar.

He has also threatened to release WhatsApp messages exposing the minister’s alleged lies.

South Africans are divided on who to believe.

While some say there might be an element of truth to Mdwaba’s claims, others are concerned about the businessman’s checkered past.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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