Mbalula takes a break to lawyer-up after Mkhwebane’s report
The former minister reportedly needs time to seek legal advice as the facts in the report 'are not the way he knows them'.
Former Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula is seen during a press briefing held at the Tshwane SAPS training academy, 11 November 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles
ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula will be taking a break to seek legal advice, ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete told 702 and Cape Talk on Thursday.
Legoete was questioned on Mbalula’s radio silence following the release of a damning report by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Mbalula has not been contactable since the release of her findings on Wednesday.
The report detailing her findings on her investigation into the former sports – and later police – minister’s 2016 family holiday to Dubai.
The final bill of his trip was R684,620.39. Mkhwebane found that Mbalula was irresponsible and in breach of the ethics code for cabinet members by taking a holiday without knowing how much it would cost, whether he could afford it, or who would ultimately pay for it.
According to Legoete, Mbalula needed time to seek legal advice as the facts in Mkhwebane’s report “are not the way he knows them”.
He added that the report would be discussed by the ANC national executive committee (NEC) on January 6 ahead of the ANC’s January 8 birthday celebrations.
It was reported in 2017 that his trip two years ago was allegedly at least partly paid for by sporting goods supplier Sedgars Sports.
EWN reported last year that the company paid at least R300,000 and possibly as much as R680,000 for the trip. The matter was criticised for possibly representing a conflict of interest since Sedgars was doing business with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee for more than a decade, supplying clothing, among other things, for South Africa’s Olympic team.
Sedgars Sports allegedly channelled the money through an apparently inactive company called Reimon Uniforms.
Mbalula, his wife, and three children holidayed in Dubai from December 28 2016 to January 3 2017 at the flashy Atlantis, The Palm Hotel, which was developed by Sol Kerzner’s international company.