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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Mbalula ‘politically shielded’ from Dubai trip prosecution – AfriForum

AfriForum has written a letter to the National Commissioner of Police General Fannie Masemola questioning why Mbalula has not been charged.

Lobby group AfriForum claims Fikile Mbalula is being shielded from prosecution by the Hawks in relation to the public protector’s findings that a sporting goods supplier funded the former sports minister’s family holiday to Dubai in 2016.

The Public Protector’s investigation followed reports in 2017 which revealed how the sporting goods supplier paid about R680,000 towards Mbalula’s holiday.

The report was sent to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate whether the funds used to pay for the Dubai trip was not the proceeds of money laundering

Criminal charges

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

It claimed the “NPA simply ignored the instruction for consideration” and Mbalula was never charged.

ALSO READ: AfriForum lays criminal charges against Mbalula

Letter to police commissioner

Now, the lobby group has written a letter to the National Commissioner of the South African Police Services (Saps) General Fannie Masemola questioning why Mbalula had not been charged.

In the letter dated 16 February 2023 and seen by The Citizen, AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel said the letter served as a formal complaint calling for Masemola’s intervention in the conduct of the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations (DPCI) in dealing with the Mbalula matter and for his office to confirm the status of the investigation.

“This country is fully aware of the developments in the Zondo Commission on state capture and the swift interventions that led to the arrest and appearance in court of certain individuals, including ANC -politicians and senior civil servants, on very complex charges ranging from money laundering and racketeering.”

Strangely Mr Fikile Mbalula’s case, as already explained supra, remains a single transaction, uncomplicated yet beyond the capabilities of law enforcement to finalise. As the delay continues, the reasoning for this we submit has become more apparent if one only considers the recent promotional developments in Mr Mbalula’s political career.

We respectfully submit that Mr Mbalula’s political rise is an indubitable realisation that he is beyond the reach of the South African Police. His inverse treatment by law enforcement must be because he is ‘politically sheltered’, unlike other citizens of the Republic,” Nel said in the letter to Masemola

Lack of progress

Nel claimed that their concerns and the “lack of progress and meaningful feedback” about why Mbalula was not charged was also communicated in several correspondence to Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.

“On 19 May 2020, we received a response from Lieutenant General Lebeya.  Respectfully Lebeya’s response was dismissive and did not address our concerns.”

Political shielding

Speaking to The Citizen, AfriForum spokesperson Barry Bateman said the allegations against Mbalula are “quite simple.”

“We are still sitting with that matter, it’s being kicked around and not being finalised…So we are left with this irresistible inference that the secretary-general of the ANC is getting preferential treatment. He’s being shielded because of his political status.”

“Unless there is a different explanation and the only explanation that we could come up with is that either that there is political shielding or the Hawks are simply incompetent and they can’t solve what is quite plainly a simple case of corruption,” Bateman said.


Nel has called on Masemola to take urgent steps to finalise and address the delays in the investigation into Mbalula and also investigate General Godfrey Lebeya’s “management of the matter.”

“It is our view that your response or failure thereto will leave us no other option but to seek remedy in another appropriate forum,” Nel said.

Several calls and correspondence to National Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba and ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu went unanswered at the time of publication.

ALSO READ: Mbalula won’t say why he tweeted about ‘landing in Ukraine’

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