PRETORIA: The turmoil swirling around world football federation FIFA and its handling of the 2010 World Cup bid has been whipped up further by the Democratic Alliance opposition party in South Africa writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Earlir this year controversy arose over a $10m grant from the South African World Cup committee to the so-called ‘African diaspora’ in the Caribbean.

The money was channelled out of funds due to the South Africans but held by FIFA; the payment was entrusted to Jack Warner, then head of both CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union. It was authorised by the late Julio Grondona, then chair of the FIFA finance commitment, and efecged by Jerome Valcke, the secretary-general.

Valcke, who denied any wrongdoing, was relieved of his duties and suspended by FIFA last week over apparently unconnected issues.

Danny Jordaan, who is now SAFA president but who led South Africa’s bid to host the World Cup and was then organising chief excutive, is named in the charge document along with his predecessor as SAFA president, Molefi Oliphant.

A statement on the DA’s website on Monday read as follows:

This morning the DA laid criminal charges against current part-time mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and President of SAFA, Danny Jordaan, and then President of SAFA, Molefi Oliphant, so that South Africa can initiate a criminal investigation into the allegation that a $10 million bribe, earmarked for South Africa, was paid to the North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in return for votes to host the 2010 World Cup.

The 2010 Soccer World Cup will remain one of South Africa’s shining achievements but it is vitally important to hold those allegedly guilty of corruption to account and that a clear message is sent to those who seek to tarnish South Africa though corrupt activities, that they will not be allowed to get away with it.

The charges laid against Jordaan and Oliphant include fraud as well as corruption under Section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004.

We know that both Jordaan and Oliphant are implicated in the decision to transfer the money for CONCACAF’s Diaspora Legacy Programme in two letters. A letter, written and signed by Jordaan in his capacity the CEO of the Bid Committee in December 2007, shows that he instructed FIFA to authorise the $10 million payment to CONCACAF. A second letter from Oliphant to FIFA in March 2008 shows the he too instructed the payment of the $10 million.

Charles Blazer, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee has admitted that he and others “on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”

The indictment of Jack Warner, former Vice President of FIFA, revealed that at least two South African officials were central to the 2010 World Cup bribery. The two individuals have not yet been named but have been described as high ranking members of the 2010 Bid Committee and the Local Organising Committee.

The indictment also details that the bribed FIFA officials were informed that “the South Africans were unable to arrange for the payment to made directly from government funds.  Arrangements were thereafter made with FIFA officials to instead have the $10 million sent from FIFA – using funds that would otherwise have gone from FIFA to South Africa to support the World Cup.”

In a reply to my oral question in the National Assembly, the Minister of Sport and Recreational Development, Fikile Mbalula, has confirmed that there has been no request thus far for a criminal investigation – despite the growing body of evidence. This is unacceptable and cannot continue any longer.

The DA has also tried to use parliamentary processes to summon the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Jordaan, Oliphant and others implicated yet have been blocked at every turn by the ANC in the Portfolio Committee. We have now had to resort to the next logical step.

Given the evidence we have decided to lay criminal charges so we can get to the bottom of these allegations tarnishing the 2010 world Cup and because there seems to be no will by our government to deal decisively with these allegations.

The DA believes that government officials and those chosen to represent us must be directly accountable to the people and must at all times act honestly, transparently and in the interests of the South African public. It does not seem that the Minister or any other officials hold the same belief.

The funds were originally intended for football development in South Africa and could have been used to buy 780 000 soccer balls, 270 000 pairs of boots, kits for 26 000 soccer teams, and 140 brand new soccer pitches.

In the end, the only beneficiary of these funds was an official by the name of Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago and not the people of South Africa as was originally intended.

The fact of the matter is that corruption steals opportunities from the people of South Africa, and in his case, from the development of a sport we love in our country. Corruption must not be tolerated. Those responsible must face the consequences for choosing to act dishonestly.

The affidavit can be found here and supporting documents herehere and here.