- SA Tourism's interim chief financial officer, Johan Van Der Walt, has been linked to an agency identified in the sponsorship proposal with the English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur.
- This, even though SA Tourism CEO Themba Khumalo stated that there was "no involvement of an agent or middleman in this proposed partnership".
- Documents revealed that £1.5 million (around R31 million) would be made payable to Tottenham Hotspur via "an existing SA Tourism supplier".
SA Tourism's interim chief financial officer, Johan van der Walt, has been linked to an agency identified in the controversial Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship proposal that made headlines this week.
SA Tourism (SAT) proposed a three-year deal with the English Premier League side, worth £42.5 million (about R900m), starting at the beginning of the 2023/24 season and ending at the end of the 2026/27 season.
In exchange for the whopping investment, SA Tourism will receive kit branding, interview backdrop branding, match-day advertising, partnership announcements, training camps in South Africa, and free access to tickets and stadium hospitality.
This was first brought to light by the Daily Maverick earlier this week.
The publication also reported on Friday morning that Van der Walt was a director of several companies linked to the WWP Group.
This, even though SAT CEO Themba Khumalo stated at a media briefing on Thursday and in a PowerPoint presentation shared with SAT board members on 27 January, that there was "no involvement of an agent or middleman in this proposed partnership".
The PowerPoint presentation further referenced that no portion of the millions spent would go to an "agent" or "middleman".
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In a different section of the presentation, it was noted that £1.5 million (around R31 million) would be made payable to Tottenham Hotspur via "an existing SA Tourism supplier" to ensure that "everything is 100% in place by 1 July 2023 when the season kicks off".
"To ensure that all origination and preparatory work around this sponsorship is concluded in time so that the deal can be 100% activated on 1 July 2023, SA Tourism will brief its agency for Project Origination to the rand equivalent of £1 500 000 (around R31 million) in terms of which all deliverables associated with this project needs to be completed by 31 March 2023 and all costs associated with this to be paid by WWP Group to Tottenham Hotspurs.
"SA Tourism has identified savings on its current year budget to pay for this," the document read.
However, a risk was listed in a second PowerPoint presentation.
"There is a risk that the £1.5 million that would have been expensed in the current financial year and funded from identified savings, might have to be paid back by SA Tourism after 31 March 2023 to National Treasury (not having been spent) and this cost will then increase SA Tourism's contractual commitments payable over the 3-year contractual period effective 1 July 2023 from £42.5 million to £ 44 million."
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Meanwhile, the documents presented to the board on 27 January 2023 stated that SAT would brief the agency for all the origination and preparatory work around the sponsorship.
The documents read:
According to the presentation, Tottenham Hotspur approached the agency WWP Group in an "unsolicited bid for sponsorship partnership".
Van der Walt admitted to Daily Maverick that he was linked to the WWP Group and several other companies. He said he had no financial interest in the WWP Group, but had done consulting work for it in the past.