Taxpayers shelled out R1,3m for "superfans" at RWC - AfriForum

DSAC provided information on Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila’s travel and accommodation expenses in response to PAIA request

AfriForum reveals that taxpayers shelled out more than R1,3 million for “super fans’” attendance at Rugby World Cup in France

29 February 2024

Taxpayers shelled out at least R1,3 million for so-called “super fans” Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila’s travel and accommodation during last year’s Rugby World Cup in France. This information is contained in feedback from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture that the civil rights organisation AfriForum received today, following an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

AfriForum submitted the PAIA application in October last year and requested detailed statements and documentation regarding the expenditure of the department’s sponsorship for Chauke and Msila’s attendance at the 2023 tournament. Although certain requested information is missing in the feedback provided to AfriForum, it does show that the department spent a total of R1 361 283 on flights and accommodation for these two fans. AfriForum’s other questions pertaining to Chauke and Msila’s full spending during the tournament have also been left unanswered.

In addition, the department also failed to provide detailed information about the expenses incurred for these fans’ attendance at other similar sporting events. In its PAIA application, AfriForum also requested information regarding the merits of Chauke and Msila’s appointment, but the department also withheld this information.

AfriForum has meanwhile instructed its legal team to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator (IR) to compel the department to hand over complete information and full expenditure records of the past 10 years with respect to the “super fans”. A formal complaint will also be filed with the Public Protector (PP) about the misappropriation of funds by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

Charné Mostert, AfriForum Campaign Officer, says: “Politically connected individuals are seemingly able to live in luxury on taxpayers’ accounts, while millions of South Africans live in poverty. Through the IR and PP, AfriForum will ensure that the department gives answers about this misappropriation of funds. This reckless money-wasting by the ANC government paints a dire political picture.”

“This amount spent on flights and accommodation alone is far more than many South Africans earn per year. AfriForum will not only ensure that these irregularities are exposed but will also see to it that there are repercussions for it,” concludes Mostert.

Statement issued by Charné Mostert, Campaign Officer, AfriForum, 29 February 2024