South African Tourism Acting CEO Themba Khumalo has apologised to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism for his response to their R1 billion proposed sponsorship of the English Premier club, Tottenham Hotspur, in a recent media briefing.
Khumalo, along with the Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu appeared before the committee yesterday.
Khumalo’s apology came after committee chairperson, Tandi Mahambehlala, said she saw him talking to South Africans arrogantly.
“Before I go into this presentation made available, I apologise unreservedly to this committee and to the South African public for coming across in a manner that is arrogant. I was probably over self-confident in that presentation. It was motivated by the fact that I was under personal attack in the social media. You know I felt under pressure at that moment and I do apologise for my conduct at that press briefing. Please forgive me for that.”
Redistribution of funds
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Tourism Portfolio Committee says it will soon approach Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and President Cyril Ramaphosa to request them to reprioritise the funds earmarked for the proposed sponsorship deal.
The committee unanimously resolved that the deal should immediately be stopped and called for an investigation into it.
Mahambehlala says the money can be spent on other social needs.
“Us we are putting our foot down to say if it comes to a push, we are going to write to the minister of finance and the president and that this money is reprioritised, because where we are seated minister, there are villages in this country where people are suffering and they need resources. We live in a society where some of our fellow South Africans are crossing rivers in drums, locked inside and they cross the river for them to get medical attention.”
In the report below, calls for scrapping of proposed Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship: