Fikile Mbalula ANC Election 2024

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Image: @myanc via X

Mbalula bullish as AfriForum prosecution move gains momentum

Fikile Mbalula says he is not scared of AfriForum, as the lobby group makes moves to have him privately prosecuted for alleged corruption.

Fikile Mbalula ANC Election 2024

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Image: @myanc via X

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has maintained his innocence as AfriForum continues its quest to privately prosecute him over alleged corruption emanating from a contentious 2016 family vacation in Dubai.

On Wednesday, the self-styled civil rights group’s private prosecution unit announced a “significant step” after it collected a docket from South African Police Service (SAPS) after successfully filing a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application.

Mbalula hits back at AfriForum

But on Thursday afternoon during a press briefing at FNB Stadium ahead of the ruling party’s pre-election day rally, Mbalula was defiant, saying “we are not scared of them [AfriForum]”.

“There is no scandal. It has never been proven… there is no [scandal]. That matter has been subjected to investigation and there was a public pronouncement on it,” said the ANC honcho. “If some over-enthusiastic braggarts of the law think that they can get something out of it, let them proceed.”

Corruption allegations

The corruption allegations stem from his time as sports minister. Mbalula and his family went on a trip to Dubai, which was apparently funded by Sedgars Sports, a clothing company that supplied the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

After a complaint by the Democratic Alliance, then-Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Mbalula had violated the Executive Members Act and the Constitution by asking a Sascoc sporting goods supplier to help him pay for his family’s holiday, reported Sowetan.

The National Prosecuting Authority also later chose not to pursue the case, prompting the move by AfriForum to privately prosecute Mbalula.

“After police investigations, guided by the prosecutors in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Unit office and the Director of Public Prosecution office, a decision to decline to prosecute anyone in this matter was taken, as there is no evidence supporting allegations of criminal activity,” said NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana in 2023.

I have rights, says Mbalula

Mbalula also bemoaned the apparent besmirching of his name by the AfriForum.

“It has never been proven in any court that this person [himself] has done something wrong.

We’ve got rights in terms of the law. AfriForum must know that. I’ve never run away from anything,” said Mbalula.