Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande. PHOTO| SUPPLIED

Lerato Mbhiza

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has laid a criminal complaint against businessman Thuja Holdings CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba, at the Brooklyn Police Station for his failure to report corruption to law enforcement authorities.

This is in relation to the allegations that Mdwaba made earlier this month against Nzimande and two ministers who allegedly attempted to solicit a bribe of R500 million from him.

Mdwaba alleged that Nzimande, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, and the ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula were among those who sought to bribe him to give the green light to his R5 billion seed funding from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

All the ministers and Mbalula have denied the allegations and threatened legal action against Mdwaba if he did not issue a statement of apology.

Addressing the media outside the police station, Nzimande described Mdwaba’s allegations as a blue lie.

“I have come here to open a criminal case against Mthunzi Mdwaba, who has come up with allegations that I and a few of my other colleagues asked for a bribe from him. This is a lie, a blue lie, actually; there is no such thing, and I never sent anyone,” Nzimande said.

According to Nzimande, when Mdwaba’s team asked him why he didn’t open a case against the implicated ministers, he responded that he didn’t trust the law enforcement agencies.

Nzimande said this was very strange for someone who claimed to be a lawyer, a professor, as well as a businessman and called Mdwaba’s allegations a smear campaign against him, the ANC, and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

“This has the potential to damage my image as a political person. We are going to elections. I don’t want this to be hanging over my head. This is a smear campaign against me, the ANC as government and the SACP. He is doing it deliberately. He has never come to me… to ask for money. This is very strange,” Nzimande charged and also denied that he had ever worked with Mdwaba.

“We might have bumped into each other in forums or other activities, but I have no relationship with the guy,” Nzimande said.

INSIDE EDUCATION 

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