Sinister new 2010 SWC bribe development

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Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - As if the bombshell allegation of bribery relating to securing the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup was not enough, the comment by former SAFA president Molefi Oliphant that incumbent Danny Jordaan had "betrayed" him in a one-sided release of correspondence, has inserted a new and sinister development to the fracas.

Oliphant reportedly told South Africa's Sunday Times he had lost his cool with Jordaan in one recent meeting after he confirmed the contents of the letter dated March 4, 2008 written by himself to FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke requesting that $10 million from the World Cup budget be diverted to Concacaf, the organisation controlled at the time by the notorious Jack Warner.

Oliphant, said the Sunday Times, believed it was Jordaan who had initially leaked the context of Oliphant's letter, while remaining silent about the letter he had himself written to Valcke earlier in December 2007 suggesting FIFA make the $10 million payment - in view of the South African government reluctance to pay this agreed amount directly.

Oliphant added that he was "angry, shocked and disappointed" that Jordaan had made no mention of his own letter written almost five months earlier, actually suggesting the revised  manner of the $10 million payment.

Oliphant and Jordaan have denied  they leaked each other's letters to the media. But this poses the question: How then did a number of diverse sections of the media obtain information of Jordaan's and Oliphant's letters to Valcke at similar times - and who indeed was the whistle blower or whistle blowers?

But the falling out of friends (sic) and its implications has not ended there, with the government declaring that a parliamentary report on the bribery issue due for May 23 would be delivered by Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula and Mbalula alone.

Mbalula had no connection with the sport portfolio during the period in question and most believe that Jordaan and Oliphant and other members of the local bid committee were best equipped to answer the questions of wrongdoing raised by the FBI in the United States.

In the circumstances, it was difficult disputing the argument that Jordaan, Oliphant and sundry others were being protected from the grilling they would surely have faced from members of the Democratic Alliance and other opposition parties in parliament.

Similarly the reasons emanating from Jordaan as to why he withdrew at the last minute from attending the fateful FIFA congress in Zurich at which the Machiavellian Sepp Blatter was elected for a fifth presidential term were unconvincing.

Blatter's last term lasted only four days before he resigned under the pressure of mounting worldwide opinion on the role he  had played in FIFA's bribery scandal or, at least, why he had done nothing to stop the seeds of corruption taking root and spreading.

Jordaan had recently been installed as ANC mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and he used business in this guise for not going to the fateful Fifa congress. But as president of SAFA you would imagine he was obligated to go to  Zurich - or otherwise deemed as not fulfilling his functions with the soccer body.

Was Jordaan scared off by the prospect of being arrested by FBI agents as has been suggested, or, at least, faced with an interrogation of fierce intensity.

And so the rumblings of impropriety continue with many unanswered questions, like the one as to why $10 million should have been donated to Concacaf with Warner to administer in the first place, all coming up with lame and unconvincing answers.

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