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Public Interest SA Calls for Urgent Action Amid Allegations of Corruption Against Minister Nxesi



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PUBLIC INTEREST SA CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION AMID ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AGAINST EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR MINISTER THULAS NXESI


Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, 19 November 2023 – Public Interest SA expresses profound concern over the recent revelations of alleged corruption involving Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, as reported in today's Sunday World newspaper. While we acknowledge the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the gravity of the accusations and the impact on the nation's joblessness crisis make Minister Nxesi's continued leadership untenable.


The allegations, currently under investigation by the Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), suggest a misuse of approximately R3-billion earmarked for the labour activation programme. A courageous whistleblower, facing threats for her safety, has implicated Minister Nxesi and his former director-general, Thobile Lamati, as the architects behind the irregular allocation of funds to companies without due process.


The whistleblower, who has submitted a sworn affidavit to the Hawks, details a scheme where Minister Nxesi allegedly issued directives to Lamati, who, in turn, conveyed unlawful instructions to UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping. The funds were purportedly channelled to companies involved in job creation without adhering to proper procedures.


Public Interest SA stands in solidarity with the unnamed whistleblower, emphasising the critical role played by individuals who courageously expose corruption and maladministration. As retired DCJ Justice Dikgang Moseneke aptly puts it, these individuals become beacons of public good, lighting the collective path towards justice and accountability.


We call upon President Cyril Ramaphosa to take immediate and decisive action to uphold the integrity of the ministry and the UIF. The allegations, if proven true, undermine the trust of the South African people and compromise the effectiveness of crucial initiatives aimed at tackling unemployment.


Public Interest SA echoes the sentiments of the whistleblower in requesting protection for her identity, emphasising the need to shield those who bravely come forward to expose corruption.


“As this matter unfolds, we encourage all South Africans to remain vigilant and report any malfeasance they witness to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Together, we can ensure accountability, transparency, and the pursuit of justice for the benefit of our nation.”


“We recognise reports of ongoing investigations by the SIU and Hawks and trust that they will be conducted with the utmost diligence and impartiality. Public Interest SA remains committed to advocating for ethical governance and accountability in the pursuit of a better South Africa for all,” says Tebogo Khaas, chairperson of Public Interest SA.




ABOUT PUBLIC INTEREST SA

Public Interest SA recognises the invaluable role of whistleblowers and individuals who courageously expose corruption and maladministration. Our mission is to contribute to the creation of a better South Africa by promoting ethical citizenship, supporting investigative efforts, and urging authorities to take decisive action against corruption.


Through a commitment to the principles of justice and fairness, Public Interest SA seeks to inspire positive transformations in government institutions, ensuring they serve the public interest and contribute to the overall well-being of our society.



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