The DA is on Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s case about the cost of his department’s recent trip to London.MP Winston Rabotapi read out a statement stating that the DA was very urgently seeking an explanation especially regarding the bill Julius Malemaracked up while staying in one of London’s most prestigious hotels, the Corinthia. The DA’s concern is that the State might have paid these outrageousexpenses and essentially this money comes from the taxpayer’s pocket.
Fikile Mbalula has denied that the was the case and said that neither his department, nor he in his personal capacity had anything to do with paying anybills for Malema or anyone else.It seems that Parliament also still needs answers regarding how funding gained from the National Lottery was spent. The same goes for privatesponsorships for the Olympic Games. There should also be a tally of how many department officials actually attended the Games.Rabotapi further lashed out at Mbalula, saying that he is used to spending the public’s hard earned money on department parties etc.
He mentioned in his statement that Mbalula’s department has spent almost R46 million on their yearly awards ceremony of which R8 million wasdonated from the National Lottery Board. A further R12.1 million was funded by the recreation department. It seems that the money from the NationalLottery Board was originally intended for Olympic athletes.When the DA questioned Mbalula regarding flights his department have taken, it came to light that Mbalula and his deputy have spent over R2.6 millionon air transport alone since April 2010.
The cost of the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre is also being investigated by the DA. The party wants to know why Mbalula is refusing to disclose any monetaryinformation regarding this centre.Since Mbalula is the Sport Minister, the DA wants him to prove that the performance and wellbeing of the athletes is at the forefront of his agenda andnot how much money he can spend on other things.Mbalula has said he cannot comprehend why he needed to clarify any other international visits other than his own.