Mkhwebane: Sport supplier paid for Mbalula's Dubai trip

Mkhwebane: Sport supplier paid for Mbalula's Dubai trip

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that former minister of sport and recreation Fikile Mbalula went on a trip to Dubai that was partially financed by sport supplier Sedgars Sport.


Busiswe Mkhwebane
Pic Courtesy: Sibahle Motha

At the time of the trip the company was conducting business with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).


The trip is estimated to have cost a whopping R680 000.  


“The allegation that the former Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula violated the Ethics Code when he undertook a family vacation to Dubai with his wife and children during the period o,f 28 December 2016 to 3 January 2017, is substantiated,”  Mkhwebane told a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.


She said by the time Mbalula and his family left for Dubai, the trip was not paid for, nor did the former minister have any money to pay for it.


“When Mr Mbalula departed for Dubai, neither did he pay nor knew how much the trip would cost and with respect, this was very irresponsible of him as he could not determine whether he would afford the excursion. This is evidenced in his enquiry from Ms Jeniffer Baylis of Munlin Travel about the cost of the trip. He however stated that he had the necessary funds as he had verbally asked for a loan from Sedgars Director  Mr Yusuf Dockrat so that he could cover the costs of the trip."


The trip was booked with Munlin Travel on behalf of Mbalula by a certain Mr Siweya.


Mr Siweya, had been a client with Munlin Travel.


The report has also revealed that Dockrat, paid R300 000 to Munlin Travel on Mbalula’s behalf.


Mkhwebane said this was a clear conflict of interest.


“The allegation that Mr Dockrat of Sedgrars Sport paid R300 000 to Munlin Travel on Mr Mbalula’s behalf using a bank account of Messrs Reimon Uniforms in respect of his family vacation; that transaction constitutes a conflict of interest."


The Public Protector also dismissed an explanation by Mbalula, that the money was part of a loan agreement. 


“The same dates when he matter was reported in the media, Mr Mbalula paid an amount of R200 000 and R75 000 respectively into the bank accounts of Reimon Uniforms. Both Mr Mbalula and Mr Dockrat claim that they entered into a loan agreement, hence the exchange of funds.


“Having considered the submissions,  I do not accept that he arrangement between them constituted a loan agreement,” she said.


Despite the findings, no remedial action will be taken against Mbalula.


She does however state that President Cyril Ramaphosa should take note for the findings in a view to share them with other members of the cabinet against ‘exposing themselves to such situations'.

Show's Stories