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Hawks launch ‘preliminary’ probe into SA World Cup bid

The Hawks have received documents believed to contain information on senior Safa members during the bid.

FILE: Fifa President Sepp Blatter announces the 2010 World Cup will be organised by South Africa on 15 May 2004 at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have confirmed they've launched a preliminary investigation into allegations that the South African Football Association (Safa) paid a $10 million bribe to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Freedom Front Plus has handed over documents believed to contain information on senior Safa officials during the tournament bid.

United States prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have not yet named the South African officials implicated in the recent bribery allegations.

The Hawks's Hangwani Mulaudzi said this is the first time authorities have been asked to probe the saga.

"We are going to open a preliminary investigation in that regard. That will then determine whether we should have a full-blown investigation or not. This is not a formal investigation, it's just information we have received, which we're going to go through."

At the same time, there are calls for Safa President Danny Jordaan to appear before Parliament's sport portfolio committee, to answer questions about South Africa's alleged involvement in the Fifa bribery scandal.

The Democratic Alliance's sport committee member Solly Malatsi has also questioned why Jordaan or any other 2010 local organising committee members were not present at a press conference called by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday, where he vehemently denied that South Africa had any part in the Fifa corruptions probe.

WATCH: Fikile Mbalula: Our hands are clean

Meanwhile, government's insistence that it did not pay a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday night with the release of former Fifa executive Chuck Blazer's guilty plea to US authorities.

Blazer is the man US authorities are using to blow the lid on decades of what it calls corruption, racketeering and bribery.

Blazer has confirmed he'd agreed to accept bribes for the 2010 World Cup to take place in South Africa while also revealing he helped arrange bribes for the 1998 World Cup in Brazil.

The unsealing of the 2013 transcript in which Blazer pleaded guilty to 10 charges includes a revelation that brings Mbalula's insistence that a bribe was never paid for the 2010 World Cup sharply back into focus.

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