Some call him Minister Razzmatazz, and for some reason many South Africans seem to love his incessant tweeting and bluster, but I’m of the opinion that Fikile Mbalula is a tosser of the highest order.
The current Minister of Police is a little like Trump, in that he seems to think tweeting about his achievements somehow magically makes them real.
This morning has seen his Twitter feed go rather quiet for a change, and that’s probably because EWN dropped an exclusive at around 6AM:
An Eyewitness News investigation has established that a sporting goods supplier allegedly paid at least R300,000 – and possibly as much as R680,000 – for a trip to Dubai by Minister Fikile Mbalula and his family last year.
The payment presents at the very least a conflict of interest, because Mbalula was Sports Minister at the time of this trip, while the company that sponsored involved was doing business with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
The investigation suggests that Sedgars Sports sponsored at least part of the Mbalulas’ getaway in late 2016, by channelling money through an apparently inactive company called Reimon Uniforms. Sedgars has been a supplier of clothing to Sascoc for more than a decade.
EWN has established that Mbalula, his wife and three children departed from Johannesburg on 28 December 2016 and returned on 3 January 2017. The family stayed at the Atlantis, The Palm Hotel in Dubai, developed by Sol Kerzner’s Kerzner International Holdings and internationally acclaimed for its Atlantis-themed waterpark. The entire holiday package including return affairs cost about R680,000.
Two independent sources confirmed that Sedgars paid for at least half of the trip. Two payments were made from a bank account linked to Reimon Uniforms on 28 February 2017 – the first of R200,000 and then a further R100,000 – to Johannesburg-based travel agency, Munlin Travel. Reimon Uniforms appears to be an inactive company whose bank account accepts and channels funds from Sedgars-linked accounts to various other parties.
It is not clear how or when the remaining balance on the trip was settled, however, it’s believed it may have been paid in cash.
Given the staggering amount of corruption we see involving the Guptas and our president, amongst hundreds of others, an amount under R1 million almost seems trivial.
It certainly is to Fikile, who tried to turn the whole thing into a joke before playing the ‘invasion of privacy’ card:
The minister himself would also neither confirm nor deny that Sedgars had paid for the trip…
“What is the name of the company or the person who paid for the trip?’ he asked. “Maybe Guptas (sic) paid for it”…
Mbalula appeared to believe he was being treated unfairly. “I take this as invasion (sic) of my privacy and calling into question my family responsibilities without an iota of proof how a private trip or vacation become a media query (sic)…
“You are invading my privacy if you think I’ve transgressed executive or members code [sic] as you claim. My family trip is a confidential matter in terms of ethics code. So, once again, this is a private matter and there’s no conflict of interest whatsoever. My rights are reserved.”
It’s not yet been ascertained whether or not Mbalula declared the trip to Parliament’s ethics committee, as is required by the member’s code of conduct, but why go through all that trouble to hide the funding of your trip if it’s all above board?
Fikile also has a habit of bare-face lying to the public – take for example his recent ball-squeezing talk reported on News24:
Addressing the police’s tactical response team at the Pretoria West police academy last Friday [29th September], tough-talking Mbalula said: “Wherever criminals congest and come together, we must unsettle them, we must squeeze them. If they’ve got balls, we must crush them. We must crush their balls. The other opposite sex, I wouldn’t say what you must do, because women in our country are not criminals.”
So he said that in front of a crowd and there’s a video. Then the lies:
This Friday [6th October], he introduced Judge Frans Kgomoas the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), commonly known as the Hawks) judge to the media in Cape Town, and questions about the crushing of criminals’ balls popped up.
“The question of the balls: In terms of plurality, everything that is equal to two, is equal to balls. And then everyone that is one, it is a ball. And then a ball, if you talk about squeeze, you squeeze the air. You flatten the ball because you don’t want that ball at use for anybody to play with the ball,” Mbalula told a giggling parliamentary press corps.
“I didn’t talk about aartappels or potatoes, you see, I talked about balls.
“I didn’t talk about testicles. I said: Balls! And then squeeze the balls. It is figurative.
Denying having said something that is on camera for everyone to see – the Trump parallels continue.
I’m sure he will do his best to deflect all the attention at some point on Twitter today, so you check HERE for the next round of bollocks.
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