Sports minister strongly denies that SA paid bribes to Fifa officials

2015-05-29 19:35
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula: ‘South Africa … will not stand in any way of pursuing justice, criminality, fighting corruption in sport.’ PHOTO: CORNEL VAN HEERDEN

SOUTH African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula yesterday denied allegations that huge bribes were paid to win the right to host the 2010 World Cup, saying that public money had not been given to “criminals”.

Fifa has been engulfed in a bribery scandal that includes accusations from the U.S. attorney general that Fifa officials took cash in return for awarding the tournament to South Africa.

The U.S. indictment alleged that bundles of cash in a briefcase were handed over at a Paris hotel as a bribe by a “high-ranking South African bid committee official”.

It also alleged the South Africa government agreed that $10 million (R121 million) that was due to be paid to South Africa to run the World Cup was instead transferred from Fifa’s funds to pay bribes to former Fifa vice president Jack Warner.

“We as a government and people managing the resources of the South African people — we did not share part of your resources with criminals, I am saying it now and forever,” Mbalula said.

“The South African government and its people will not stand in any way of pursuing justice, criminality, fighting corruption in sport.”

Mbalula criticised how the U.S. had made its allegations without consulting South Africa.

“We are not and we have never acted in Hollywood and we are not used to these things,” he said.

“Let us protect our sovereignty and national interest and fight corruption — but equally we must not allow to be abused … people seem to cast aspersions on our integrity.”

The South Africa Football Association on Wednesday dismissed the allegations as “baseless”.

“We are disappointed at the baseless and untested allegations and request proof from anyone who has contrary evidence,” national football association spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said.

“Our bid campaign was run by, among others, late president Nelson Mandela, former president Thabo Mbeki and several government ministers, who are men of integrity.”

“When we concluded the Fifa World Cup here in South Africa we got a clean audit report,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told reporters in Cape Town earlier yesterday.

“There has never been any suggestion that anything untoward happened in South Africa.” — SuperSport


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.