Premium Journalist
1 minute read
28 May 2015
12:27 pm

SA govt denies 2010 World Cup bribery allegations


The South African government has firmly denied allegations of bribery over the awarding of the 2010 World Cup in a media briefing at Sascoc House in Johannesburg on Thursday.

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma and FIFA President Sepp Blatter during a media briefing at Soccer City on December 13, 2010 in Soweto, South Africa..This event is to reflect on the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Photo by Gallo Images

The American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the claims which on Thursday saw the arrest of a number of top Fifa officials at its Switzerland headquarters. SA Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula denied the allegations that a 10 million US dollar bribe had been paid by a South African official to secure the rights to host the event.

“We don’t have to wait for an indictment because there is nothing to indicate we have been involved in any way,” said Mbalula.

“If the FBI wants South Africa to be involved they know what to do, we don’t feel undermined in any way to what the Americans are pursuing.” The amount in question was steadfastly refuted by Mbalula.

“We are not a small fish in the world and we must be respected. There’s no amount of 10 million US dollars to bribe anyone.” Though the SA government had not yet had direct contact with the US authority, Mbalula said the ministry would co-operate.

“The principal we’re raising is of sovereignty. It’s a serious matter, it’s important and we need to co-operate. It does constitute an element of disregard between the two countries as we were not made aware first.”