The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has distanced itself from controversial report claiming Fikile Mbalula’s trip to Dubai was partly paid for by a supplier to the SA Olympic team.
When approached for comments on the trip, Sascoc spokesperson, Jessica Choga, said the committee had no knowledge about the trip which Mbalula embarked with his family while he was the sports minister.
“Unfortunately, you are going to have to ask Fikile Mbalula, he [was] the minister of sports, and Sascoc has nothing to do with it,” Choga bluntly replied.
Since October 9, Police Minister has been fighting to clear his name after it emerged that he, his wife and three children went on an R680,000 trip that was at least partly paid for by Sedgars Sports – a supplier to his department while he was sports minister.
Not only that, records also showed that Mr. Razzmatazz had at least R300,000 of his family’s getaway sponsored by the same supplier.
Eyewitness News (EWN) established on Monday that the minister’s family departed from Johannesburg on December 28 and returned on January 3.
They allegedly at the Atlantis, The Palm Hotel in Dubai, developed by Sol Kerzner’s Kerzner International Holdings and internationally acclaimed for its Atlantis-themed waterpark. The entire holiday package, including return affairs, was said to have cost about R680,000.
In his initial response, Mbalula insisted that the trip was a private matter and begged the media not to invade his privacy.
He said at the time:
“My family trip is a confidential matter in terms of ethics code. So, once again, this is a private matter and there’s no conflict of interest whatsoever. My rights are reserved.”
However, the minister later gave in to pressure from the public seeking answers on the trip, insisting that he “basically paid for the trip.”
His spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga, also downplayed reports that the Minister paid for the trip in February.
”Why would he go on holiday in December and pay for it in February?” he asked.
Following the revelation, the DA says it will report former Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to the Public Protector.