The recent scandal reported in the world of football has given another revelation of how corruption thrives in South Africa. Again, South Africa is on global news and the story is unimpressive.
As found in a 164-page US Justice Department indictment, South Africa allegedly offered $10 million bribe to Jack Warner who was the former FIFA vice president in order for him to help South Africa secure the 2010 World Cup bid. And it would have been the second bribe paid by South Africa as its first attempt to host the 2006 World Cup failed.
With the arrest of seven FIFA officials, US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch said that FIFA officials “corrupted the process” of the first World Cup event held in Africa “by using bribes to influence the hosting decision”.
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As such, Warner and his co-accused have been indicted with racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies as their South African co-conspirators that allegedly bribed Jack twice remain unknown.
The indictment narrated that “In or about 2004, the FIFA executive committee considered bids from Morocco, South Africa and Egypt, as well as other nations that withdrew before the vote, to host the 2010 World Cup.”
Times Live reported the indictment stating that “in the early 2000s Warner instructed co-conspirator #14, a member of his family, to fly to Paris to meet co-conspirator #15 and collect the briefcase. In 2004, co-conspirator #1 learnt from Warner that high-ranking officials of FIFA, the South African government and the local World Cup bid committee were allegedly preparing to arrange for the government to pay $10-million to secure votes for the 2010 bid.”
It was subsequently learned that it was difficult for the South Africans involved to make the payment directly from government funds. Thus, arrangement was made with FIFA officials for FIFA to pay the $10 million itself from money that should have gone to South Africa to support the organizing of the World Cup. Watch what SABC has to report
So far, the South African Football Association have dismissed the allegations as ”baseless and untested”. Let’s hope they are truly baseless and untested, and that South African officials have not made an epic mistake that will cost the country an arm and a leg in global matters.