Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has defended having a third party bankroll his Dubai family holiday worth an estimated R680,000 and rejected claims of a conflict of interests because the company, Sedgars Sports, is a South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and Team SA clothing supplier.
Mbalula was Sports Minister at the time of the six-night visit at the Atlantis Hotel over New Years.
He has declined to answer any specific questions, saying it is a private matter and none of the media's business.
Sedgars Sport has also denied paying for the holiday but a media report reveals there’s a money trail linking Sedgars to the trip.
EWN has seen records which show a company called Reimon Uniforms - which linked to Sedgars Sport - paid R300,000 to a travel agent to pay for Mbalula's Dubai trip.
It's understood the remainder of the R680,000 expense was paid for in cash by a Sedgars employee.
When EWN first approached Mbalula in July, he refused to give a straight answer. Instead, he protested that his privacy was being invaded.
When approached again last month, he neither confirmed nor denied Sedgars paid for the trip, but the minister said there was nothing untoward about the vacation and who paid for it. He reiterated that it was private.
He also told EWN he reserves the right to protect his family's privacy from what he described as “journalistic gymnastics”.
Sedgars' director Yusuf Dockrat denied paying for the holiday and refused to answer further questions when evidence showing a link to Sedgars was put to him.
Two independent sources have confirmed that banking records show Reimon Uniforms paid a travel agent for the holiday.
Company records show several links between Reimon and Sedgars.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is demanding an investigation into the minister’s family holiday to Dubai.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen says it’s concerning.
“It’s concerning because the money was paid. There’s very likely a conflict of interest with the Minister of Sport receiving a gift of this nature from a company that was doing business with Sascoc, which is accountable to the minister.”