Cape Town - South African soccer officials are being deliberately
shielded from scrutiny over bribery allegations surrounding the country's
successful 2010 World Cup bid, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
The Democratic Alliance also said sports minister Fikile Mbalula failed to
attend a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday when he was supposed to
answer questions on the allegations.
Following Mbalula's no-show, the DA said there were deliberate attempts by
the ruling African National Congress to "delay accountability on this
issue" and protect some of South Africa's most senior soccer officials.
"Is this really a responsible way to deal with the single biggest
reputational crisis facing sport in our country?" the DA said in a
South Africa's government has denied bribing FIFA officials to vote for the
country to be awarded the 2010 World Cup. The United States Department of
Justice said in indictment papers alleging widespread and long-running
corruption in world soccer body FIFA that South Africa gave $10 million to
corrupt FIFA executives in 2008 as payback them backing it in the 2004 vote.
South Africa said it was a legitimate payment to former FIFA executive
committee member Jack Warner for soccer development in his country. Warner is
one of 14 soccer and marketing executives under arrest and facing extradition
to the U.S. on charges of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. Another
former member of FIFA's ruling panel, American Chuck Blazer, admitted receiving
bribes in the 2010 World Cup host contest.
In the days after the allegations against South Africa emerged, officials
connected to the bid were ordered by the government to refrain from speaking
publicly about the allegations.
But the DA wants former bid officials to appear before parliament to answer
the allegations. The DA specifically wants Danny Jordaan, the current South
African Football Association president and former 2010 bid leader, and Molefi
Oliphant, who was head of SAFA at the time of the World Cup bid, to go to
However, no soccer officials have appeared yet, and ruling party officials
are "deliberately shielding Danny Jordaan and others from accounting for
this matter," DA member of parliament Solly Malatsi said on Wednesday.
Malatsi also said sports minister Mbalula had agreed to attend to appear
before parliament's sports committee on Tuesday but failed to do so, citing
"other commitments," according to Malatsi.
Mbalula's spokesperson didn't respond to requests for comment.