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Mosiuoa Lekota and Ronnie Kasrils have made it clear that the cabinet they served in, never discussed a $10m payment to Caribbean football, Trevor Manuel must come clean – COPE

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Mosiuoa Lekota and Ronnie Kasrils have made it clear that the cabinet they served in, never discussed a $10m payment to Caribbean football. Keen footballer that he is, Lekota would have known if such a payment was approved. He was not aware of any decision to transfer funds for any legacy programme in the Caribbean. In his view, “Never once was anything like this discussed in that cabinet. We didn’t know anything. If this was an honest thing, why didn’t they tell South Africa? There is no way we can say this was authorised by government. It is nothing else but a cover up for a bribe that was indeed a bribe.”

COPE President Lekota made the above statement to Sport 24.

Former minister Ronnie Kasrils also confirmed on Sport 24 that he too had “no recollection of that (subject) ever being discussed or such a decision being taken while (he) was in cabinet.”

Former Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel needs to throw light on this matter. He is the best person to do so. He must now come forward and admit or deny government involvement in the $10 million payment. Jabu Moleketi, who was then deputy finance minister and a member of the 2010 local organising committee (LOC ) denied, in the media, that he ever had a discussion with Danny Jordaan recommending the payment of any money to Fifa for transfer to the Diaspora Legacy support programme.

What does Danny Jordaan have to say about that?

The BBC on Sunday 7 June 2015, revealed very detailed information of how the $10m payment went straight to Jack Warner. He was shown to have funnelled a big portion of the money to himself through a supermarket into ready local cash. It also showed documents revealing personal card payments he made; and the other uses to which he put the so called legacy millions. No legacy of any type seems to have arisen from those millions that South Africa passed over to Warner directly as per the written instructions of Dr Oliphant to Fifa.

The people of South Africa had absolutely no knowledge about this massive transfer of funds. It was all done very secretly. A legacy project of that scale would have been trumpeted for all to hear. Nor did the Caribbean authorities ever acknowledge this largesse from South Africa in any way. Astonishingly, no South African political or football official was ever invited to the Caribbean for any official opening of any facility funded by the $10 million handed over by South Africa. As the BBC shows, the money went straight into the pocket of Jack Warner and South African football officials asked no questions and made no follow up. If the Diaspora Legacy programme was of such importance, why were no questions ever raised over eight long years about where the money went to? There is only one inference to be drawn: there was no legacy programme. It was a phantom.

It was an arranged payment that was meant to remain secret. The legacy issue was a post facto red herring. No football development occurred with that money. As Blazer admitted, the money was used to swing the vote South Africa’s way. The stream of evidence that is coming out will swamp all efforts at damage control. Only the truth will set SAFA and the government free.

Every day brings a new twist and turn. This is the time for those who served in the cabinet in late 2007 adduce proof that the matter was indeed discussed in the cabinet and that Danny Jordaan’s version has legitimacy? This should be simple to resolve.

South Africa wants answers as do all footballing nations of the world.

Issued by Dennis Bloem on behalf of COPE, Dennis Bloem is Cope spokesperson

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