FBI gives SA the Fifa corruption charge sheet

2015-11-04 14:40
Justice Minister Mike Masutha. Picture: Netwerk24

Justice Minister Mike Masutha. Picture: Netwerk24

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States has made contact with South Africa about its investigation into corruption within Fifa. 

Justice Minister Mike Masutha revealed this after months of speculation about South Africa’s possible involvement in one of the largest international sports scandals in history. 

In a written parliamentary reply, Masutha said he and his department had received correspondence from the legal attaché of the FBI. 

A copy of the indictment relating to the Fifa matter was attached, he said. 

“The purpose of the letter was to bring the contents of the indictment under the attention of the department,” said Masutha. 

The letter also said the FBI was “looking forward to the continued partnership” between itself, the American Department of Justice and the SA Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. 

A “formal request for assistance” had not yet been received from the FBI, he said. 

“I noted the contents of the memorandum, including the indictment, and forwarded copies of the indictment to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Corruption, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Task Team,” said Masutha. 

A possible South African link to the scandal centres around a payment of $10 million that South Africa made to the Football Association for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf). Letters show that the money was commissioned by SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and former Safa boss Molefi Oliphant. 

According to the FBI, former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner used portions of these payments for his private use. He has been extradited from Trinidad to face corruption charges in the US. 

The South African government insists that the payment was not a bribe, but a donation to the so-called African Diaspora Legacy Fund. 

Media 24 contacted the minister’s office for more information about the FBI’s letter, specifically whether: 

» any South Africans were named in the indictment; 

» any South Africans were under investigation. 

The minister’s spokesperson had not replied to these queries at the time this report was published. 

DA MP Solly Malatsi – who raised the questions with the minister – said the DA welcomed the new developments. 

“It’s ground-breaking that the FBI made contact with South Africa. 

“This shows the seriousness with which the US views the case and confirms our view that South Africa has to institute an inquiry into who co-conspirators number 15 and 16 are in the case.” 

The office of the FBI’s legal attaché at the US embassy in Pretoria would not provide further information on the contents of the letter.

Read more on:    fbi  |  fifa  |  fifa bribery scandal

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