Riddle around Mbalula's Las Vegas trip deepens

2015-05-16 10:14
Fikile Mbalula. (GCIS)

Fikile Mbalula. (GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has apparently been caught in a lie about his return date from Las Vegas where he attended the boxing match between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio, Netwerk24 reported on Saturday.

According to an investigation by Beeld newspaper, the sports minister lied on social networking site Twitter about his return date.

According to the department of home affairs entry control, Mbalula was back on South African soil on May 6 at 07:12 - and not on May 4, as he said on Twitter.

This comes after he complained about journalists asking who paid for his trip.

He attended the epic boxing match in Las Vegas in the United States on Saturday evening, May 2 (Sunday morning in South African time).

Mbalula's spokesperson Esethu Hasane told Beeld the following day it was not an official visit. He added that it was not necessary for Mbalula to apply for leave because he departed on the Friday - a public holiday - and returned early Monday morning.

Time difference

Mbalula tweeted on May 4: Some media are asking when do I land from Vegas am already here. @eNCAnewsam not your ringside reporter from #FloydVSPacquiao

But Beeld established through two independent, reliable sources that Mbalula departed on April 30 and only returned on Wednesday May 6. He flew with Emirates Airlines via Dubai.

If the time difference was taken into account, he could have tweeted in the early hours of May 5.

Hasane declined to comment about the apparent contradiction.

It is not known if Mbalula was accompanied by bodyguards or other people, and who paid for them.

Besides his recent Las Vegas visit, Mbalula has this year already undertaken four overseas trips.

This included an official visit to Zurich, Switzerland, and another visit to New York on invitation from NBA Africa. But it is not clear if the other two visits were official or private and Hasane would not comment on questions about this.

He said the last time he replied to queries from Media24, his comments were twisted.

He said he chose not to respond to questions.

Mbalula last week said in reply to a parliamentary question from the Freedom Front Plus that no state money was used for the trip. But still refused to say if a sponsor paid for it.

Beeld earlier reported that arms dealer Ivor Ichikowitz sponsored part of a trip by Mayweather to South Africa in 2014, on a request from Mbalula.

Mbalula's overseas trips this year:

 21 to 31 January: Paris, France. Reason for trip unknown.

13 to 18 February: New York on invitation from NBA Africa to attend the annual NBA All-Star weekend. According to his office, no state money was used for this trip. He partied with rapper P Diddy, Mayweather and Metro FM presenter Tbo Touch.

28 February to 3 March: London, England. Reason for trip unknown.

8 to 10 April: An official visit to meet with soccer body Fifa about an investigation into Bafana Bafana's alleged involvement in match fixing.

Read more on:    floyd mayweather  |  fikile mbalula

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.