Following the recent Fifa corruption scandal, CapeTalk/702’s Redi Tlhabi sought clarity from callers and the Corruption Watch Executive Director on what constitutes a bribe.
It is reported that high ranking Fifa officials allegedly received bribes amounting to R1.8 billion and have been charged with racketeering, fraud and money laundering, among other offences.
South Africa has also been implicated in the Fifa corruption scandal and the Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula, and South African Football Association (Safa) boss, Danny Jordaan, both admit that a payment of $10 million (about R120 million) went to Fifa. However, they say it did not constitute a bribe, but a donation to the African Diaspora Legacy programme.
Redi Tlhabi spoke to David Lewis, Executive Director at Corruption Watch, about bribery and corruption.
It’s a statutory defined crime. The standard legal definition of a bribe is the giving or the soliciting of something valuable to influence the decision of a person who has a public or legal duty to carry out. Clearly Jack Warner had a legal duty. Looking at the nature of the world cup - and Warner's public duty - that element of the definition is satisfied. I want to underline that the money doesn’t have to even change hands …— David Lewis
According to Lewis, the time in which the money was paid was irrelevant. He further said that the act of giving a gift to influence decisions is considered a bribe; and that a bribe is not always in the form of money.
Lewis says that there was no reason for South Africa to pay the money. South Africa should’ve exposed Fifa for its corrupt shenanigans, he said. Lewis described Fifa as a global criminal syndicate.
Here are some of the twitter comments on the topic:
@RediTlhabi its a donation these days ....lol they have made it difficult for some of us to distinguished between the two.— bongani nkosi (@nkosi_bongza101) June 10, 2015
Taking cash or "in kind" gifts to unduly influence a process, such as winning Tenders and influencing votes. https://t.co/dDQSgHGzGV— Sharon Peetz (@SharonPeetz) June 10, 2015
@RediTlhabi A bribe is any form of unauthorised influential gratification offered or accepted to benefit one or other person— Oupa Mahosi (@EMahosi) June 10, 2015
@RediTlhabi "The so called donation":SA insisted that Warner administer the $10 M,thats y we won't be agitated by de misuse of"our donation"— Tiisetso Nkalai (@TiisetsoNkalai) June 10, 2015
Shouldn't we have been concerned upfront? Surely there are donor protocols the world over? Otherwise we'd all have an NGO @RediTlhabi— bongani bingwa (@bonglez) June 10, 2015
@RediTlhabi No such thing as a bribe. Either you're lobbying, "buying a cold drink', or wetting the palms...Well until someone get unhappy— Mgaga (@mgagaso) June 10, 2015
Listen to the full conversation below: