Fresh allegations on SA's involvement in Fifa scandal
While US authorities believe the $10m was bribe, Mbeki apparently believed it to be an honest payment.
JOHANNESBURG - A paper trail shows that the controversial $10 million bribe that allegedly secured South Africa's World Cup in 2010 was reportedly negotiated between then president Thabo Mbeki and former Fifa boss Sepp Blatter.
_The Sunday Times _says three letters over the course of four months show that government was well aware of the payment that former Fifa executive Chuck Blazer said was a bribe to select South Africa as the host nation.
However, government claims this was a legitimate payment to support soccer in the Caribbean.
The paper says it's in possession of an email sent by Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke to former South African finance minister Jabu Moleketi in December 2007.
In the letter, Valcke asked Moleketi about the transfer of money discussed in an earlier letter which included the commitment of $10 million to the legacy programme.
The paper suggests the letter was based on discussions between Fifa and government and also between Blatter and Mbeki.
Three days later, chief executive officer of the World Cup Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, wrote to Valcke confirming this deal, adding that the $10 million be deducted from South Africa's organising budget.
The money was then paid in three instalments between January and March 2007.
While US authorities believe this was a bribe, Mbeki apparently believed it to be an honest payment.