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FIFA saga: DA slams “unresponsive” Mbalula

FIFA saga: DA slams “unresponsive” Mbalula

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has blasted Sport and Recreation Minister, Fikile Mbalula, for failing to answer parliamentary questions regarding the payment of an alleged $10-million bribe from the South African Football Association (SAFA) to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mbalula, who earlier this month rejected allegations that the amount was paid to former Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACF) boss Jack Warner, was slated to appear in Parliament after an application to have former and current SAFA Presidents, Molefi Oliphant and Danny Jordaan, answer questions, was rejected some two weeks ago.

“Minister Mbalula’s responses to several questions submitted by the DA and other opposition parties reveal barefaced contempt for parliamentary accountability and rises to the level of an abuse of process,” DA Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, Solomon Malatsi, said in a statement.

Referring to a series of previously asked questions, Malatsi stated that Mbalula’s answers fails to address any aspect of the matter, adding that his avoidance is mainly part of an “orchestrated effort” to protect Oliphant, Jordaan and members of the Local Organising Committee.

“Members of the Executive are duty-bound to answer the questions truthfully and in full. For a Minister who usually has so much to say, Mbalula’s reticent attitude towards parliamentary questions exposes his disdain for Parliament and the South African public who deserve answers as to why the $10 million was ‘gifted’ to the CONCACAF,” Malatsi said.

He also stated that the party had already submitted a letter to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying that, “Government officials must be directly accountable to the people and at all times act honestly, transparently and in the interests of the South African public. It does not seem that the Minister holds the same beliefs”.

Mbalula has not responded on the allegations yet.