Jordaan ‘asked Gup­tas for $10 mil­lion’

The Witness - - NEWS - NKU­L­ULEKO NCANA

SAFA pres­i­dent Danny Jordaan al­legedly turned to the Gupta fam­ily to cover a $10 mil­lion (R138 mil­lion) hole in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s books — the re­sult of an il­le­gal pay­ment made to an of­fi­cial of in­ter­na­tional foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa to se­cure South Africa the 2010 World Cup.

This ex­tra­or­di­nary al­le­ga­tion is con­tained in an af­fi­davit by the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion’s for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO), Les­lie Sed­ibe. He has laid crim­i­nal charges against Jordaan and Fifa’s for­mer sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Jérôme Val­cke, for fraud and cor­rup­tion, ac­cus­ing the two of con­spir­ing to au­tho­rise a $10 mil­lion bribe to Fifa’s then vice-pres­i­dent, Jack Warner, to se­cure his vote for South Africa to host the 2010 soc­cer spec­ta­cle.

The case was opened at the Mon­deor po­lice sta­tion in Johannesburg just days be­fore Christ­mas, when Sed­ibe sub­mit­ted tranches of doc­u­ments — in­clud­ing the Safa Close Out Re­port on the 2010 Fifa World Cup — as ev­i­dence to sup­port the cor­rup­tion charges.

“The ev­i­dence I have sub­mit­ted to as­sist the po­lice is con­tained in doc­u­ments that were handed to me by Safa in the course of our le­gal mat­ter be­fore the courts,” Sed­ibe told City Press.

But Safa’s cur­rent chief ex­ec­u­tive, Rus­sell Paul, hit back, say­ing Jordaan “de­nies that al­le­ga­tion” that he ap­proached the Gup­tas for money.

“But as for the rest of the al­le­ga­tions, gov­ern­ment must speak on that,” added Paul.

“Gov­ern­ment, through then-min­is­ter of Sport Fik­ile Mbalula, is­sued a di­rec­tive that it would only be the state that would speak on the mat­ter of the $10 mil­lion bribe al­le­ga­tion. As far as we know, that po­si­tion has not changed, so we will not be re­spond­ing on the mat­ter.

“I must re­mind you that Safa and Dr Jordaan were cleared by Fifa for any wrong­do­ing in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Sed­ibe has asked the po­lice, the Hawks and the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity — with the as­sis­tance of the FBI — to in­ves­ti­gate a num­ber of al­le­ga­tions, in­clud­ing:

Bribery and cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against Jordaan, Val­cke and Fifa re­lat­ing to the $10 mil­lion pay­ment as a bribe to Warner; and

Whether the South African gov­ern­ment made any pay­ment equal to the sum of $10 mil­lion to Safa, or any­one else, to make up the short­fall on the bud­get for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in the pe­riod after the World Cup.

In his af­fi­davit, Sed­ibe un­packs the se­quence of events, claim­ing that he had been sent from pil­lar to post while try­ing to se­cure fund­ing to pre­pare Bafana Bafana ahead of the 2010 World Cup be­cause Safa was broke and in dis­ar­ray.

“Jordaan then ar­ranged a meet­ing with Ajay Gupta. The meet­ing was held at Mr Gupta’s house in Sax­on­wold with the for­mer pres­i­dent, Ja­cob Zuma, in at­ten­dance,” he al­leged.

“It was on this oc­ca­sion that I met Mr Gupta for the first time. Jordaan in­tro­duced me to Mr Gupta and rec­om­mended that I should deal with Mr Gupta as he was a very pow­er­ful and in­flu­en­tial in­di­vid­ual who had the ear of the pres­i­dent.”

— City Press.

“Jordaan then ar­ranged a meet­ing with Ajay Gupta. The meet­ing was held at Mr Gupta’s house in Sax­on­wold with the for­mer pres­i­dent, Ja­cob Zuma, in at­ten­dance.”

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