Mbalula slapped down over Commonwealth bid announcement

2014-07-27 08:17

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Cape Town - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula appears to have jumped the gun when he announced in Glasgow that Durban would bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

According to the Sunday Times, Mbalula broke the news at the Commonwealth Games Federation general assembly last week and said he could "guarantee" that the government will play its part in hosting the most successful sporting events in South Africa.  

However, it has since emerged that no discussions of this nature have been held by government.

According to the newspaper, KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu’s office contacted Mbalula shortly after his announcement to inform him that the 2022 Games were not on the province’s list of priorities.

Communication’s Minister Faith Muthambi said no discussions about hosting the Games had been held and that they would "follow up" with Mbalula on his return to South Africa.

However, when contacted by the Sunday Times, Mbalula admitted that his announcement did not have cabinet approval.

Official opening

Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the 2014 Commonwealth Games on Wednesday in Glasgow after a moving and colourful ceremony staged at the famed home of Celtic football club.

The 20th Commonwealth Games will feature 17 sports across 11 days of competition with more than 4500 athletes from 71 nations competing, making the event the biggest Scotland has ever hosted.

"To you, the Commonwealth athletes, I send my good wishes for success in your endeavours," Queen Elizabeth told the athletes.

"You remind us that young people, those under 25 years of age, make up half of our Commonwealth citizens; and it is to you that we entrust our values and our future.

Meanwhile, Cameron van der Burgh added to Team SA's medal tally at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland with silver in the men's 100m breaststroke final on Saturday, while South Africa's Olympic champion Chad le Clos won gold when he retained his Commonwealth Game 200m butterfly title in a Games record of 1:55:07.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  durban
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