Tag Archives: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula

South Africa denies paying $10m FIFA bribe

BBC

SA fans at World Cup 2010
South Africa was chosen ahead of Morocco to host the 2010 World Cup

South Africa has denied paying a $10m bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup, in the wake of a US inquiry into corruption at world football body Fifa.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the money in question was above board and intended to support football in the African diaspora in the Caribbean.

The Fifa scandal erupted last week when US prosecutors indicted 14 people.

On Tuesday, president Sepp Blatter said he was to step down, just days after he had been re-elected for a fifth term.

Of the 14 people indicted by the US on charges of racketeering and money laundering, seven were senior Fifa officials, including two vice-presidents. The seven were arrested in Switzerland as they awaited the Fifa congress that re-elected Mr Blatter and are currently awaiting extradition to the US.

The US justice department alleges the 14 accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

The homepage of the Interpol website is seen through a magnifying glass in this picture illustration taken in Berlin, Germany on 3 June 2015.
Interpol has issued alerts for six people, including Fifa officials, under investigation by the US

US officials quoted in the New York Times also said on Tuesday that Mr Blatter, 79, was under investigation as part of the inquiry. They said they hoped some of the Fifa figures charged would help to build a case against him.

Interpol alerts

US officials allege South Africa paid a $10m bribe in exchange for support for its 2010 World Cup bid from former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and several other members of the North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

But in a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Mbalula said South Africa “categorically denied” the allegation, adding that the money went towards an approved programme to help the development of football in the Caribbean.

The money went into a fund controlled by Mr Warner.

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Analysis: Andrew Harding, BBC News, Johannesburg

South Africa’s sports minister was on fiery, bombastic form in Johannesburg, as he lashed out against the bribery allegations being levelled against his country.

Fikile Mbalula made it clear he believed “vested interests,” and “imperialism” led by a United States “parading itself as “the world’s policeman,” were behind the FBI’s sensational claim that South Africa paid $10 million to secure the 2010 World Cup.

“We are not in defensive mode… [but] we have a responsibility to defend the legacy of the World Cup… and our country’s reputation,” he said at a news conference at the headquarters of South Africa’s Football Association.

Mr Mbalula, and the top official in his ministry, Alec Moemi, repeatedly insisted that the $10 million transferred to the Caribbean in 2008 was not a late bribe – four years after the vote – but a donation to support the African diaspora.

Read Andrew’s full piece

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Separately, Interpol issued a wanted persons alert for two former Fifa officials, including Jack Warner, as well as four corporate executives. All six were on the list of US indictments last week.

Announcing his resignation on Tuesday, Sepp Blatter said it appeared the mandate he had been given in last Friday’s Fifa vote “does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world of football”.

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Fifa finances

How Fifa makes and spends its money

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Mr Blatter said he would continue in his post until an extraordinary congress was called to elect a new president.

No dates have been set, but it is expected to take place between December this year and March 2016.

When he returned to Fifa on Wednesday, Mr Blatter was reportedly given a 10-minute standing ovation from about 400 staff and was said to be close to tears as he told them they were a “fantastic team” and they should “stay strong”.

Mr Blatter’s daughter, Corinne Blatter-Andenmatten, is quoted by Swiss Daily Blick (in German) as saying her father’s decision to resign “has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the allegations going around”.

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Why did Sepp Blatter go now?

Resignation speech in full

Caf says it supports Fifa reforms

How would Fifa officials be extradited?

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A separate criminal investigation by Swiss authorities into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were allocated is also under way.

Australian football chief Frank Lowy said in an open letter on Wednesday that the race to win the 2022 bid, which was awarded to Qatar, was “not clean” and that he had shared what he knew with the authorities.

S Africa – ANC facing a future without Motlanthe and Manuel in government

Mail and Guardian

The post-Mangaung era could see the government lose two key leaders: Kgalema Motlanthe and Trevor Manuel.

Sources say Trevor Manuel is frustrated with the ANC and is considering leaving South Africa for an overseas job, but Manuel has played down the rumours. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Motlanthe and Manuel seem to have had enough and are likely to join others in leaving government.

Government officials told the Mail & Guardian that Manuel, planning minister in the presidency, could be heading overseas to one of the world’s multilateral financial institutions or companies.

Manuel chaired the International Monetary Fund’s governance reform committee at its inception in 2008 and has kept up close relationships with top officials there as well as at the World Bank.

Talk of Manuel’s imminent departure from the Cabinet comes just a few days after his decision to decline nomination for a position in the ANC national executive committee. Those close to him believe his decision to decline the party’s top post was the clearest indication yet that he was preparing his exit from Cabinet.

Manuel this week poured cold water on speculations that he was planning to leave. Addressing a national planning commission breakfast, he was guarded when speaking to journalists about his future. “At the moment I have no place to go. Nobody wants me, so I guess South Africa is stuck with me,” said Manuel.

Senior government officials said this week that Manuel believed it was time for him to go after he had delivered the comprehensive national development plan, which diagnosed the country’s socioeconomic conditions in the past 18 years and outlined plans to reverse the dire situation.

Manuel has ‘had enough’ Manuel is one of the last remaining Cabinet ministers who served under former president Thabo Mbeki.

Although some of his colleagues resigned after Mbeki was recalled, Manuel chose to remain in government. But senior officials said he had had enough.

“What frustrates him the most is the disregard of the Public Finance Management Act by senior ANC politicians serving in government. He is finding it very difficult to associate with some of the controversial decisions in government, which includes the funding of Zuma’s Nkandla complex,” said an official.

At an unveiling of a bench and a tree-planting ceremony in honour of former ANC stalwart Kader Asmal two weeks ago, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu told Manuel he did not belong in “this government”.

“What has happened to us? I mean, what has happened to us that we can just go on going on? Who in their right minds could have approved the expenditure of more than R200-million? And to do it in that area – where you have this nice place … and just around there the squalor and poverty. What is the matter with us?” Tutu was quoted as saying.

Until recently, Zuma had not firmly acknowledged the importance of the national development plan, despite it being welcomed by many in society.

Manuel is likely not to be the only key Cabinet minister to be lost to the Zuma administration. Motlanthe, the deputy president, is also contemplating leaving office before the end of his term in 2014.

Motlanthe may step down Some of Motlanthe’s close allies believe that he might step down from his position as early as January to make way for the new ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Like Manuel, Motlanthe also declined nomination for a place in the national executive committee after being defeated by Zuma. According to government and ANC insiders, Motlanthe is likely to suggest that he be released from his responsibilities to allow the new leadership to impose its authority.

His associates believe he would not want to be a lame duck deputy who is passed over by his juniors aware of his impotency. They added that it would be awkward for him to implement decisions with which he disagreed.

His relationship with Zuma has also deteriorated over the past few months, which would make it a hard for them to work together.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe commented this week that Motlanthe would be allowed to finish his term, saying the situation was different from that of Mbeki, who was recalled with a few months left before his term ended.

But Mantashe’s comment in Business Day this week that Ramaphosa would be a de facto prime minister fuelled speculation that Motlanthe was dispensable and no longer needed.

Others likely to follow Other ministers likely to exit the Cabinet before 2014 are Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Also in the firing line are Limpopo and North West premiers Cassel Mathale and Thandi Modise, and Tshwane and Johannesburg executive mayors Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Parks Tau. They all campaigned for change in the ANC leadership in Mangaung.

Speaking to the M&G this week, Modise, who lost the contest for the position of national chairperson to Baleka Mbete, said she was aware of moves to remove her as premier. She claimed this was because of her commitment to fight rampant corruption in the province.

The Mangaung victors fired the first salvo when they pushed for the dissolution of the ANC Youth League national executive committee. Following fierce debates at the plenary on Wednesday night after Mpumalanga tabled a motion to disband the league, the conference decided to refer the matter to the new national executive committee.  M&G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Africa – regional heads opposed to Zuma choose candidates for top posts

City Press

ANC leaders from eight provinces, all of whom are opposed to President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, met last night in an attempt to agree on who their candidates for the party’s top six positions should be.
Sources with knowledge of the meeting told City Press that while the leaders agree Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe should be their presidential candidate, they fear his reluctance might sink their campaign.
The camp is also struggling to agree on who they want to nominate as secretary-general.
The ANC Youth League is pushing hard for its former leader, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, to stand for the position.
But the Eastern Cape wants Gwede Mantashe to retain his position, while Gauteng is backing ANC national executive member Joel Netshitenzhe to become secretary-general.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale was punted in the meeting as a possible deputy president, while Mathews Phosa is likely to be nominated to remain treasurer-general.
The meeting could not agree on nominees for deputy secretary-general and chairperson, and KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape representatives were asked to come up with possible – “preferably female” – candidates, someone who attended the meeting told City Press.
The “forces of change” lobby in KwaZulu-Natal has been proposing provincial chairperson and Premier Zweli Mkhize or MEC Senzo Mchunu’s names as possible chairpersons.
It is not clear whether Motlanthe will agree to be nominated.
The Mail & Guardian reported last week that Motlanthe told lobbyists at a meeting, dubbed the “Malibongwe gathering”, that he would only accept a nomination if it was not aligned to slates (election lists of candidates).
Two sources who were briefed about the meeting said representatives from all provinces except the Northern Cape attended.
Not all who wanted to attend could make it because of the bad weather over Gauteng last night.
The lobbyists are due to meet again next week.
The ANC’s leadership nominations open formally next month, and branches are this month gathering to decide who they should nominate.

City Press