7th August 2019

Criminal complaint filed against former South African Minister of Sport

Criminal charges involving allegations of money laundering and corruption have been field against South African Minister for Transport, Fikile Mbalula, by AfriForum. The non-governmental organisation, which focuses on representing the rights of Afrikaners, asked public prosecutor Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate allegations that Sedgars Sport paid for a 2017 trip to Dubai for Mbalula’s family, while he was Minister for Sport. The clothing company has sponsored the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) for over ten years.

In December 2018, it is understood that Mkhwebane found Mbalula had violated the country’s Executive Ethics Code due to the Dubai trip. Article 4.1 of the Code prevents members of South Africa’s Executive from accepting gifts in return for any benefit received by the member in their official capacity.

It is understood that Mkhwebane found that Mbalula and family travelled to Dubai without paying for the trip and ‘apparently had no idea of how much it would cost’. In a statement, AfriForum alleges that ‘between ZAR300,000 and ZAR680,000’ (€17,930 – €40,640) was channelled through a ‘seemingly inactive’ company, Reimon Uniforms, in order to pay for the trip, after the bill was not settled.

It is alleged that Mbalula agreed a ZAR684,000 (€40,600) loan with Yusuf Dockrat, a Sedgars Director, who paid a travel agent on Mbalula’s behalf. Mkhwebane found that it was inappropriate for Mbalula to agree such a loan with Dockrat, as he is a Director of a company doing business with SASCOC. 

“The NPA’s [National Prosecuting Authority] failure to prosecute Mbalula on the public prosecutor’s recommendation forced AfriForum to submit a complaint”, said Monique Taute, Director of the NGO’s Anti-Corruption Unit, in its statement. “All indications are that the Minister used dirty money to go on holiday and benefitted from his relationship with Sedgars. He must be held accountable. No politician can be seen as above the law and therefore AfriForum’s Anti-Corruption Unit is of the opinion that it is in the public interest and the interests of justice that the NPA prosecutes without fear, favour, or prejudice.”

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