In what appears to be a clear conflict of interest, a sporting goods supplier doing business with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) allegedly paid for an overseas holiday for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula when he was sports minister, Eyewitness News reported on Monday.
Oh wow! https://t.co/YyHYd4pinl— Songezo Zibi (@SongezoZibi) October 9, 2017
Allegedly, the company, Sedgars Sports, sponsored at least part of Mbalula's trip to Dubai in 2016, through a company called Reimon Uniforms. The entire trip to The Palm Hotel reportedly cost R680,000.
Sedgars reportedly supplies clothing worn by the South African Olympics team. According to EWN, two payments were made from a bank account linked to Reimon around the time of the trip to a Johannesburg travel agency.
Despite many strong links between Reimon and Sedgars, Sedgars denied making payments towards the trip.
EWN reported that it was not clear if Mbalula declared the trip to Parliament, as required by Parliament's members' code of conduct.
Mbalula told EWN that his privacy was being invaded.
#MbalulaDubai Mbalula: "Any private trip... is private. I will not be drawn on how I paid or not paid for it." BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) October 9, 2017
"Those who allege wrongdoing should equally furnish you with facts. Now this is more like a witch-hunt and you jump into it. This is really unfair and abusive... You are invading my privacy if you think I've transgressed executive or members code [sic] as you claim. My family trip is a confidential matter in terms of ethics code. So, once again, this is a private matter and there's no conflict of interest whatsoever. My rights are reserved," he reportedly said.
#MbalulaDubai Mbalula told EWN "I reserves the right to protect my private family from journalistic gymnastics of yours". BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) October 9, 2017