Johannesburg – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday said the R680 000 trip he and his family took to Dubai last year was paid from the family coffers.
This comes a day after the minister came under scrutiny over the family trip, with reports alleging a third party bankrolled the six-night trip.
According to EWN, a South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and Team SA clothing supplier, Sedgers Sport, allegedly paid for at least half of the R680 000 holiday.
The news outlet said the payment for the trip, which took place between December 28 last year and January 3 this year, appeared to be a conflict of interest as Mbalula was the minister of sport at the time of the trip.
The minister has since denounced the report as a “smear campaign”, calling on EWN to produce evidence supporting claims that his trip was funded by a third party.
The police ministry in a statement denied the family trip had been sponsored or that he had received any gifts or gratuities for the trip.
“The minister did not receive a sponsorship for the said private family trip; there were no gratuities or gifts received for the trip.”
“The minister and his immediate family did travel abroad on the dates suggested in the report.”
The department also denied Mbalula had any conflict of interest arising from the trip.
Additionally, it said Mbalula had periodically adhered to the Declarations of Members Interests, which included the period under review and ended in September 2017.
“Finally, the minister’s family was and is responsible for the trip from its financial resources, details of which are completely confidential and protected in accordance with Members Code of Ethics.
“The Minister regards the allegations as an orchestrated plan to impugn his integrity and deliberately cause him and his family harm in this regard, the Minister and his family’s rights remain reserved. The Members Ethics themselves recognize that such private activity is protected information and is confidential, this is known to journalists but it is deliberately ignored or trampled on.” IOL