Cape Town - South Africa's Department of Sport and Recreation has issued a statement on the allegations that the SA Government paid a bribe to secure the rights to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The statement, as received via email on Thursday, in its entirety, below:
The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa has been inundated with questions relating to the allegations stemming from the indigment by the Attorney General of the United States of America that the government of South Africa or its officials have paid a bribe of $10 million to secure the rights to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa hereby indicates that all funding by the South African Government was transferred via the National Treasury to the National Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and that no such amount was paid by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the government of South Africa.
Our financial records and books for the 2010 – 11 Financial years and those before and after the period of the world cup have been audited by the Auditor General of South Africa and no such amount has been found on our books. The funds transferred to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) were also accounted for. At the close of the books of the LOC, government received the close out report including audited financial statements by a reputable international Auditing and accounting firm, Ernst and Young (EY). The financial statements were unqualified and the audit opinion fairly represented the financial position and compliance with the accounting policies of the LOC.
On this basis, the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa duly accepted the close out report of the LOC and submitted same to our National Treasury as is expected in South African law. In the interest of Transparency, government also finalised its own close out report which was approved by cabinet and duly released to the public in early 2012. We have therefore noted with keen interest the allegations from the Attorney General of the United States and will follow their investigation. We will approach our Department of International Relations and Cooperation to request through the Diplomatic channels existing between the two countries the copy of the indigment to establish the basis on which the allegations are being made as this has a potential of tarnishing the name and people of our country globally and put into question the competence of our nation in organizing mega events.
As this is a matter of national importance, we call upon all who were involved in the process of bidding and execution of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to desist from making statements and to afford the National Government of the Republic of South Africa through the Ministry and Department of Sport and Recreation to handle this matter through the diplomatic channels. We also call upon those wishing to provide any information to provide such through the government of the Republic of South Africa. We will study carefully the copy of the indigment once received from the US government through the Diplomatic channels and we will pronounce further after carefully studying it.