Mbalula: 2010 bribery allegations is campaign to drag SA through the mud

Fikile Mbalula says the $10m paid to Concacaf was not taxpayers' money nor a bribe, but procedural process.

FILE: Fikile Mbalula says the $10m paid to Concacaf was not taxpayers' money nor a bribe, but procedural process. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has told Eyewitness News that the $10 million paid to the Caribbean Football Association was part of a procedural process that was not taxpayers' money or a bribe.

Last week the United States Justice Department claimed a South African bid official paid a bribe for the hosting of the 2010 soccer spectacle.

Seven Fifa officials have also been arrested for allegedly being part of an international scandal involving millions of dollars stretching back 24 years.

Mbalula has refuted a statement by the US Justice Department that the country was involved in any bribery.

"We frown at any insinuation by the Americans that seeks to depict our government as corrupt, as a government of people who have actually bribed their way through to win the 2010 World Cup bid."

Mbalula said this was only a US campaign to drag the country through the mud.

"A desperate propaganda that they are pursuing in their endeavors to fight their battles with Fifa

Government is still waiting to see the indictment and has written to the us authorities asking for a copy.

South African Football Association President Danny Jordaan has confirmed that the 2010 Local Organising Committee paid the money after South Africa won the bid to host the 2010 world cup, saying this was for soccer development.

The Sunday Independent reported that Jordaan said the money was not a bribe and was in fact paid to the Confederation of North, Central American and the Caribbean Football Association (Concacaf)

in 2008.

The Sunday Independent quotes Jordaan as saying the $80 million was paid directly over to South African football authorities in 2008 for the soccer tournament.

A further $20 million dollars was allocated to build Safa House and $10 million was paid to Concacaf.

Jack Warner, who has been implicated in the bribery scandal, was the head of the association at the time.

The paper further claims that no other football association under Fifa had received such a cash injection during 2008.

None of the officials involved in the bidding process have been available for comment.

To read the full statement from the US Justice Department on #FifaGate, _ click here_.