Public Protector to investigate Mbalula’s Dubai trip

23rd October 2017 By: Thabi Shomolekae - Creamer Media Senior Writer

Public Protector to investigate Mbalula’s Dubai trip

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula
Photo by: GovtZA

The Office of the Public Protector on Monday informed civil rights organisation AfriForum that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has decided to launch an investigation into the funding of a trip to Dubai by Fikile Mbalula when he was Sport and Recreation Minister.

This follows a written request from AfriForum to Mkhwebane to launch an investigation into the alleged payment of between R300 000 and R680 000 by sporting goods supplier Sedgars Sports for a trip to Dubai by Mbalula and his family in 2016. 

AfriForum anticorruption unit head Monique Taute said it was suspicious that this took place when the company was doing business with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

“An investigation by the Public Protector could potentially reveal a conflict of interest, as well as a possible corrupt relationship between Mbalula and Sedgars Sports,” said Taute.

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

Speaking to Polity, Mhaga said he did not know if the Public Protector had sent questions to the police ministry, or Mbalula personally, and refused to provide further comment on any investigations.

Political parties including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have criticized Mbalula over the holiday to Dubai.

Speaking exclusively to Polity, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said the party had no objection regarding this matter and that it “is for Mbalula to clear his name”.

The EFF has written to Mbalula to publicly ask him if he received a funded holiday. The party also asked Mbalula why the benefit was not declared in Parliament and Cabinet.

Earlier in the month, the Democratic Alliance had also said they would report Mbalula to the Public Protector.