Family denies flying Mbalula to Vegas for Mayweather match

By Drum Digital
08 May 2015

A week after Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula visited Las Vegas in the United States for the "boxing match of the century" it remains a mystery how he got there and who paid for it

, Netwerk24 reported on Friday.

But Beeld newspaper has revealed that boxing champion Floyd Mayweather was spoilt at the Madikwe Game Reserve by the Ichikowitz family last year - and flown around in their luxury private jet - all thanks to Mbalula.

Ivor Ichikowitz, 48, founder and executive head of the Paramout group, Africa's biggest weapons manufacturer, enjoys close ties with President Jacob Zuma and several other senior African National Congress members.

His brother, Eric, 44, confirmed to Beeld that Mayweather was entertained in January at the Molori Safari lodge, situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve, and that the family also paid for his flights.

Last year he said it was on request from the government's sports department, but on Wednesday he said he had offered to host Mayweather when he heard of his planned visit.

He said he was a huge Mayweather supporter and when he heard of his planned visit to the South Africa, he made contact with Mbalula - who he has known for "many years" - and offered to help with the trip.

According to Eric, the family did not pay for Mayweather and his entourage's flights to and from the United States. He also denied that Mbalula had used their company Fortune Air's Boeing 727-200 to fly to the United States.

"That is nonsense. Our planes did not fly international over the weekend."


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