Herewith Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Fikile Mbalula’s Statement on the allegations that the Government of South Africa paid a bribe to secure the rights to host the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup following remarks attributed to SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan:
‘We remain concerned at the ongoing media speculation which only plays into the hands of those whose objective is to tarnish the good name and integrity of our country. We reject these falsehoods with the contempt they deserve. As a government and people of South Africa we are enjoined to combat such propaganda against our country. Accordingly, we appeal to all our people, media included to desist from speculating on names of individuals who may or not be implicated in the allegations.
Equally, we call on all those involved in the bidding and hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to avoid expressing comments that can only play into the hands of those who seek to perpetuate negative stereotypes against South Africa in particular and Africa in general. Whatever the motive of those involved, nothing can detract from the fact that the hosting by South Africa of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first on the African continent, remains one of the most beautiful spectacle and successful tournament the world has ever witnessed in FIFA’s history. We frown upon any insinuations made in the indictment by the US authorities that suggest that the government of South Africa or any of its citizens have been involved in any wrongdoing without substantiating the allegations, let alone naming the alleged co-conspirators.
We refuse to allow the reputation of our republic to be tarnished unduly without affording the republic and its citizens an opportunity to respond to any allegations made. We view this as an attack on our sovereignty. We wish to reiterate our earlier communicated position that the government of the Republic of South Africa and the Local Organising Committee have not expended any public funds in the amount of $10 million towards bribery of anyone to secure the rights to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Any inferences drawn from the statements attributed to Dr. Danny Jordaan which seeks to insinuate that our position is contradictory is therefore not only misleading but mischievous at best. We reaffirm our position that no public funds have been utilised to pay any bribe or to commit any unlawful acts.’
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA