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Oliphant & Jordaan safe from Parliamentary grilling, for now

The ANC closed its ranks to block a push by the DA to have both appear before Parliament's sports committee.

Former Safa president Molefi Oliphant. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan and his predecessor Molefi Oliphant won't be asked to come and answer questions before Parliament's portfolio committee on sport, for now.

African National Congress (ANC) members of the committee closed ranks on Tuesday, to block a push by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to have both Jordaan and Oliphant appear before the committee, to answer questions related to their roles in the corruption scandal that's engulfed Fifa.

This is in connection with a payment of $10 million made to a development programme in the Caribbean, channeled through former Fifa vice president Jack Warner.

United States authorities claim this money was a bribe to secure the hosting of the World Cup in 2010.

Chairperson, Beauty Dlulane, said Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will be asked to brief the committee on 23 June.

She said only after that, might the committee consider calling others.

The DA's Shadow Sports Minister Solly Malatsi said he'll be talking to other opposition parties about what to do next.

"We will have to explore what other channels in Parliament we can use to basically get to the point where Parliament is the first platform of inquiring from those that were responsible. There are various avenues in Parliament that we can use."

Malatsi said Jordaan and Oliphant are better placed to answer questions because, unlike Mbalula, they were actually involved in South Africa's bid to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

PROTECTION

The ANC has been accused of protecting Jordaan and his predecessor from having to answer tough questions about the $10 million.

Malatsi said the ruling party is protecting Jordaan and Oliphant from scrutiny.

"You could tell from their level of engagement that they are very steadfast in blocking those individuals from potentially coming to Parliament and being questioned by the portfolio committee, which is a sad thing."

He said what's been said about the affair and South Africa's involvement so far is contradictory.

"It's clear they're not speaking in one voice and if all of those were to come together to be questioned there might be more revealing information that could be damning for all of those people who at the beginning denied these allegations."

Malatsi said opposition parties will be exploring other ways to get a Parliamentary inquiry into the scandal underway.

WATCH: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says the $10m payment to Concacaf was above board and he's adamant neither Safa nor the SA government paid a bribe to host the 2010 World Cup.

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

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