Fikile Mbalula says he paid back R700,000 family holiday 'loan'
ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula is consulting lawyers in a bid to challenge the findings of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report.
Mkhwebane found that Mbalula - a former sports minister - violated the Executive Ethics Act and the constitution by asking a Sascoc sporting goods supplier to help him pay for his 2016 family holiday to Dubai. This was during his tenure as sports minister.
In a statement by Mbalula which circulated on Friday, he said Mkhwebane's conclusions were "unsubstantiated and prejudicial". He denied any wrongdoing.
Explaining his actions, he said he took a personal loan from a "friend of 20 years" to bridge the costs of a family vacation trip. He said he repaid the loan, acquired from Sedgars Sports boss Yusuf Dockrat, with interest.
The loan amount was almost R700,000.
"I consider it regrettable that [Mkhwebane] has chosen to make the adverse findings against me. It has now become necessary for me to consider challenging the findings in a court of law," Mbalula said.
TimesLIVE reported that Mkhwebane said there was evidence that Mbalula paid R275,000 into the account of the company that had paid his travel expenses.
She said she did not recommend any remedial action against Mbalula "as he is no longer a member of the executive" - but ordered the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate "whether the funds used to pay for Mr Mbalula’s trip were not the proceeds of money-laundering".