Mbalula: Anyone found guilty in Fifa scandal will be prosecuted

Fikile Mbalula has reiterated for a fourth time that SA did not pay a bribe to host the 2010 World Cup.

South African Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says if anybody is found guilty of corruption related to the 2010 hosting of the Fifa World Cup they will be prosecuted.

He reiterated for a fourth time that South Africa did not pay a bribe to host the 2010 World Cup at a briefing earlier today.

"We can't understand why the said bribe was paid years after the voting and securing of rights was concluded. We also can't understand why this has been alleged to be a bribe when all those alleged to have been involved have placed everything on record."

At the press briefing, Mbalula went through the previous statements released by his department and has highlighted key points made then.

He said his department had not yet heard back from US authorities investigating corruption at Fifa and has asked to be contacted by them.

The minister said he and his department refused to be caught up in a battle between the US and Fifa, and that Fifa must speak for themselves.

The allegation that Fifa paid $10 million to a development project in the Caribbean emerged as part of a US Criminal investigation, that's seen red notices issued by Interpol for six former Fifa officials and executives.

But Mbalula says the money transferred to former Fifa vice president Jack Warner had an honest purpose.

"The agreement was that the allocation of funds to the CONCACAF will be allocated to the Caribbean Football Union and will be utilised for the Doctor Duao Centre of Excellence based on in the Port of Spain."

The minister also says South Africa must defend itself against malicious accusations.

"We have a responsibility to defend the legacy of the world cup and African success. We also have a duty to defend our country's reputation, integrity and sovereignty."

Despite this afternoon's briefing being held at Safa House none of its officials were available to comment while members of the Local Organising Committee were also absent.

LISTEN: Update on the Safa press conference.


The minister has called on the US Department of Justice to provide evidence that South Africa offered a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup.

Mbalula says they will not interfere with the US authorities investigations.

"We are not opposed to the investigation and we don't want to stand in their way and it's for this reason that our call remains that they share the evidence on which they base their allegations that negatively impact on the reputation of South Africa."

He also says South Africa has proven its quality as a host nation.

"We shouldn't allow the allegations to put the country's capacity into question and competency in delivering world class events. It's an emerging state that can stand toe to toe with the best in the world."

At the same time, Mbalula says he consulted with former president Thabo Mbeki and members of the 2010 Local Organising Committee.

He says he hasn't found any evidence that government used public money to fund the legacy programme.

"I spoke to president Mbeki, Danny Jordaan, Molefi Oliphant and Irvin Khoza."