Former Public Protector Criticizes NPA Decision on Mbalula Money Laundering Allegations

Was the Decision to Not Prosecute Fikile Mbalula Justified?

Former Public Protector Criticizes NPA Decision on Mbalula Money Laundering Allegations

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the former Public Protector of South Africa, expressed her dismay over the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision not to prosecute African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. Mbalula faced allegations of money laundering after receiving a loan from a supplier to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

In 2016, when Mbalula was the Minister of Sports, Sedgars Sports, a well-known sportswear manufacturer owned by the Dockrat family, funded a family holiday to Dubai.

“This is in relation to the Public Protector’s report released on December 19, 2019, that the NPA should look into the allegations that Sedgars Sports funded the Mbalula family holiday to Dubai between December 2016 and January 2017, when he was the Minister of Sports Arts and Culture,”

stated NPA spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana.

This week, AfriForum’s private prosecution unit has argued that Mbalula should be held accountable. In a “significant step” towards private prosecution, the unit retrieved the docket from the South African Police Service (SAPS) headquarters following a successful Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application.

“The unit is even more convinced that Mbalula has a case to answer to. After a cursory inspection of the evidence, it is abundantly clear that the decision not to prosecute Mbalula was irrational. The evidence suggests collusion between witnesses and the SAPS; a failure to obtain statements from important witnesses and possible suspects; a failure to obtain valuable records and data; and poor cooperation between the SAPS and prosecutors,”

said Barry Bateman, spokesperson for the AfriForum specialised unit.
Mkhwebane’s Response

On Friday morning, Mkhwebane spoke to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, highlighting her concerns over the NPA’s decision.

“It was shocking to discover that the National Prosecuting Authority decided not to prosecute because there was evidence which we relied on as the Public Protector that Mr Mbalula received that free donation which he later turned into a loan. That was also paid in cash, and we were questioning the R150,000 cash which he paid to a travel agent. He was alleging that he is paying back R680,000 which he got from Sedgars, the company which paid for his family trip,”

Mkhwebane stated.

“I think that violated the financial intelligence laws because as a South African, there is an amount of cash which you are allowed to be carrying around. We wanted them to look into that part, but then they decided not to prosecute.”

Mkhwebane, now serving as a Member of Parliament for the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), insisted that the NPA should have examined whether the funds used for Mbalula’s family trip to Dubai were illicit or involved money laundering.

Previously, Mahanjana from the NPA had clarified that Mkhwebane’s referral was to investigate whether the trip was funded through money laundering,

“with the view to prosecute anyone who may have been involved in criminal activities.”

A case was indeed opened at the Brooklyn police station. Mahanjana explained:

“After police investigations, guided by the prosecutors in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Unit (SCCU) office, and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office, a decision to decline to prosecute anyone in this matter was taken, as there is no evidence supporting allegations of criminal activity,”

she said.

Mkhwebane’s investigation had concluded that Mbalula’s actions were unconstitutional. She noted that it was improper for Mbalula to enter into a “loan agreement” with Yusuf Dockrat, a director at Sedgars, which supplies sports apparel to SASCOC.

What do you think?


Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

Throughout his career, Siphiwe has demonstrated a commitment to journalistic integrity and a relentless pursuit of truth. He has worked for several prominent media outlets, including leading newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. His reporting has covered a wide range of topics, from domestic politics and social issues to international affairs and human rights.

Siphiwe's journalistic endeavors have taken him to the frontlines of major events, where he has provided on-the-ground coverage and in-depth analysis. His ability to contextualize complex political developments and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences has earned him recognition and respect within the industry.

Beyond his work in traditional media, Siphiwe is also actively engaged in public discourse, participating in panel discussions, debates, and academic conferences. He is committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and democratic values through his journalism.

As a political analyst, Siphiwe possesses a keen analytical mind and a nuanced understanding of political dynamics. He is adept at dissecting political rhetoric, evaluating policy proposals, and forecasting future trends. His insightful commentary helps citizens navigate the complexities of governance and make informed decisions about their collective future.

Siphiwe's expertise extends beyond mere reporting; he is also deeply involved in advocacy efforts aimed at promoting press freedom, defending human rights, and fostering democratic governance. Through his work, he strives to amplify marginalized voices, hold power to account, and contribute to the advancement of a more just and equitable society.

In his pursuit of excellence, Siphiwe remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism and serving as a catalyst for positive change in his community and beyond. With his unwavering commitment to truth, integrity, and social justice, he continues to inspire and empower others to engage critically with the world around them.


Leave a Reply

Hijacked Delivery Truck Crashes into Muizenberg Railway Bridge

Hijacked Delivery Truck Crashes into Muizenberg Railway Bridge

Landmark ICJ Ruling Demands Immediate Halt to Israeli Operations in Gaza

Landmark ICJ Ruling Demands Immediate Halt to Israeli Operations in Gaza