Mbalula denies his trip to Dubai was 'sponsored'

11th October 2017 By: News24Wire

Mbalula denies his trip to Dubai was 'sponsored'

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula
Photo by: Reuters

Allegations that Police Minister Fikile Mbalula was "sponsored" roughly R680 000 to travel to Dubai is completely void of any truth, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

In a statement, police ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said Mbalula and his immediate family did not receive a sponsorship, nor did he receive any gratuities or gifts.

Mhaga said Mbalula's family was wholly responsible for the payment of the trip.

"The Minister regards the allegations as an orchestrated plan to impugn his integrity and deliberately cause him and his family harm in this regard," he said.

"The Minister has and had no direct conflict of interest arising from the trip as alleged by EWN and now other media houses as well."

On Monday, EWN reported that a company which supplies sports uniforms for South Africa's Olympic athletes and officials, had partially paid for Mbalula's trip to Dubai between December 2016 and January 2017, while he was sports minister.

According to EWN, Sedgars Sport paid for at least half of the R680 000 trip. The report claimed that two payments had been made from a bank account linked to Reimon Uniforms.

The first alleged payment was for R200 000 and another payment of R100 000 was allegedly made to Johannesburg-based travel agency Munlin Travel.

Mhaga said details of the trip were protected information, as it was private activity "and is confidential".

He said the minister had responded to the allegations because he knew that "a lie repeated many times soon becomes the truth in the ears of the unsuspecting public".

"The Minister had wished that this matter would not enter public spectacle or innuendo-laden journalism," he added.