AfriForum wants answers on Mbalula’s Dubai trip

Cape Town – Lobby group AfriForum says it has given the Hawks until 30 May to give an update on its investigation into ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula’s family holiday to Dubai in 2017. AfriForum laid criminal charges of money laundering and corruption against Mbalula at the Brooklyn police station in 2019. The group said the criminal case against Mbalula stemmed from... Read more → The post AfriForum wants answers on Mbalula’s Dubai trip appeared first on African Insider.

AfriForum wants answers on Mbalula’s Dubai trip

Cape Town – Lobby group AfriForum says it has given the Hawks until 30 May to give an update on its investigation into ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula’s family holiday to Dubai in 2017.

AfriForum laid criminal charges of money laundering and corruption against Mbalula at the Brooklyn police station in 2019.

The group said the criminal case against Mbalula stemmed from a 2018 Public Protector report into the then-Sport Minister’s family holiday to Dubai, which referred the matter to the NPA to “investigate whether the funds used to pay for the trip were not the proceeds of money-laundering”. 

According to News24, the report found Sedgars Sport, a company that supplies sports uniforms for South Africa’s Olympic athletes and officials, had partially paid for Mbalula’s trip to Dubai between December 2016 and January 2017.

While the entire trip is said to have cost R680 000, Sedgars is believed to have paid roughly half of that amount, the publication said.

The report claimed two payments had been made from a bank account linked to Reimon Uniform, with the first alleged payment being for R200 000 and another payment of R100 000 was allegedly made to Johannesburg-based travel agency Munlin Travel, New24 reported.

At the time, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the Public Protector, slammed Mbalula, saying it was “very irresponsible of him as he could not determine whether he could afford the excursion”.

In a statement, AfriForum spokesperson Barry Bateman said the allegations against Mbalula were “simple and uncomplicated”.

“They entail that the Dockrat family, through linked companies, allegedly paid for the politician’s holiday – a single transaction with a travel agent without any complicated forensic analysis of financial records and bank statements required,” Bateman said.

He said that numerous attempts had been made to try and solicit a response from Lebeya, including a letter written to him by AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit head, advocate Gerrie Nel.

In the letter dated 4 May, Nel wrote: “Based on our experience in this and other matters we respectfully submit that the country’s woes with combatting corruption will remain a pipe dream for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI, also known as the Hawks).

“The disastrous investigation and prosecution of the Nulane Investment matter is a striking example of the continued ineptness of the DPCI.

“Either the ineptness or political sheltering of certain individuals appears to persist and can more adequately be equated to the famous quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

“You are implored to heed the request to respond. Acting on behalf of the complainant we reiterate our discontent with the lack of progress and failure to provide meaningful feedback.

“More importantly, we submit that your failure to present the National Prosecuting Authority with a completed case docket for them to decide on a prosecution lends credence to our client’s concerns of bias.”

Bateman said that if Lebeya did not respond by 30 May, the Private Prosecution Unit “will be left with no option but to approach the High Court in Pretoria and seek remedy. The recent letter and previous correspondence may form the basis of the application”.

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Compiled by Betha Madhomu

The post AfriForum wants answers on Mbalula’s Dubai trip appeared first on African Insider.


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