There are tell-tale signs that South Africa’s Sports Minister Mbalula Fikile might have misled Parliament about Floyd Mayweather visit expenses. The Democratic Alliance (DA), has faulted claims by Mbalulu on how Floyd Mayweather’s bills were taken care of during his visit to South Africa in 2014.
Reports say Mbalula initially claimed that the trip was not paid for by taxpayers. Meanwhile, documents obtained by Netwerk24 through the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), revealed that Mbalula’s department spent more than R475‚950 on advertisements and marketing at a gala function during Mayweather’s visit to South Africa.
Meanwhile, DA spokesman on sports and recreation, Solly Malatsi said Mbalula would be invited to the parliament to account for Floyd Mayweather’s visit expenditure. The party, he said would approach the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation to help summon the Sports Minister.
He said the revelation was in “stark contrast” to the minister’s repeated pronouncements that no state money was spent on Mayweather’s ‘Reawakening of the Giant’ Tour to South Africa. Malatsi said
“It also flies in the face of claims by the department that the Mayweather visit was privately financed and organised and that the department was asked to participate in a bid to revive boxing in the country”.
It would be recalled that in 2014, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in South Africa for a six-day visit. His presence attracted heavy chaotic scenes at the OR Tambio international Airport in Johannesburg. He believed that the tour would make South African government help “resuscitate” boxing in the country.
Ministry of Sports spokesperson Paena Galane said the ministry was counting on Mayweather, “the greatest athlete in the world,” to revive boxing in the country.
The visit was solely organized by the Ministry and it postulated that the American born Five-division Champion- Floyd Mayweather will help high-ball South Africa’s Boxing game.
‘We wanted someone who’s knowledgeable as a fighter and as a promoter,” Galane said.
Eulogizing the champion, Fikile Mbalula said
“We don’t host mediocrity, we host champions. We will roll out the red carpet for you for the rest to see, because humanity has given you to us,”
“…the rose that grew from concrete, you traveled a long journey and it has touched all of us.
“You no longer belong to America. These kids look up to you. The people you see here, they don’t sleep when you fight… Thanks, my brother, for coming. We know that your visiting this country is priceless… may something out of this bless us for the good of humanity, globally.”
Mayweather’s visit to South Africa will remain evergreen to all Mayweather fans in South Africa and Africa at large.
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