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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

‘No evidence’: NPA will not prosecute Fikile Mbalula for Dubai holiday

A sports clothing manufacturer had paid for the trip while Mbalula was sports minister. Mbalula insisted it was a loan.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday confirmed that it will not be prosecuting ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula over a trip he and his family took to Dubai from December 2016 to January 2017.

Family holiday to Dubai

The family holiday was paid for by Sedgars Sports, a sports clothing manufacturer, while Mbalula was South Africa’s sports minister.

In 2019, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that the NPA investigate whether the trip was funded with proceeds of money laundering.

A police docket was then registered at the Brooklyn police station.

ALSO READ: Mbalula in R680k Dubai trip scandal

The NPA, however, said it will not be prosecuting anyone in the case because there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

“A decision to decline to prosecute anyone in this matter was taken, as there is no evidence supporting allegations of criminal activity,” said NPA Gauteng spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

Mkhwebane’s report

Mkhwebane’s report stated that Sedgaars Sport had paid around R300,000 for the trip. The total cost of the trip was R680,000.

Sedgars was a supplier to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

At the time, Mbalula claimed the money he received for the holiday was a loan, which he had repaid.

Dockrat family

The transaction was also controversial because the owners of Sedgars Sport are the Dockrat family.

The family had previously been accused of working with then Free State premier Ace Magashule to secure a R9.5-million tender to supply 30,000 soccer T-shirts and 20,000 blankets for the 2010 World Cup.

In 2019, investigative journalism unit amaBhungane reported that another Dockrat family-owned company, Sedtrade, was among those linked to Magashule and received several massive tenders.

Sedtrade was linked to Tsefay Hardware, a close corporation which had Magashule’s son Tshepiso as a director. Sedtrade allegedly used this relationship to secure contracts worth R1.47 billion in the Free State.

The Dockrat family was also allegedly involved in a bizarre land deal in Gauteng.

ALSO READ: Gauteng government pays R180k a month to rent school it sold for R600k

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit claimed to have gathered evidence that the Gauteng government was paying R180,000 a month to rent a school it had sold for R600,000.

The entity the school was sold to belongs to a member of the Dockrat family, Mohammed Essop Dockrat.
Sedgars, however, denied owning the property.

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