Department mum for now on R1.3m spent on super fans

Mama Joy Chauke. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Mama Joy Chauke. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 7, 2024


The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture says it will at a later stage comment on the revelation by AfriForum that taxpayers shelled out at least R1.3 million for “super fans” Mama Joy Chauke and Botha Msila’s travel and accommodation during last year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Asked for more details regarding the money spent by the department on these fans during the World Cup, ministry spokesperson Litha Mpondwana said they will comment on the super fan initiative in due course.

Regarding the amount cited by AfriForum, she said the civil rights organisation was provided with the details of the amount by the department. “The figure is not a calculation of AfriForum,” she said.

Mpondwana said as the department had said in a statement issued in October last year, this was the first time that it supported fans by paying for their travel and accommodation costs to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“In the Rugby World Cup, Mama Joy and Botha Msila epitomised a winning, active and inspiring nation,” she said.

The information regarding the department’s expenses for the super fans is in feedback from it following an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act by AfriForum.

The Paia application was submitted in October last year with detailed statements and documentation requested regarding the expenditure of the department’s sponsorship for Chauke and Msila’s attendance at the 2023 tournament.

Certain requested information is missing in the feedback provided to AfriForum, but it does show that the department spent a total of R1 361 283 on flights and accommodation for these two fans.

In October the department defended the super fans’ trip to France, stating that Mama Joy and Msila are recognised in the world of sport as the epitome of promoting a winning, active and inspiring nation. This is one of the primary objectives of the department, it said.

It was concerning that there were concerns about these fans attending the World Cup and raising the South African flag in support of the Springboks, the department said at the time.

Since the start of the Rugby World Cup in France, the country had observed with appreciation and excitement, the positive responses to the super fans from across the globe.

It said it had supported many South Africans to participate in sports and art and Mama Joy and Msila were not the first.

AfriForum has meanwhile instructed its legal team to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator 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 about the alleged misappropriation of funds by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

Pretoria News

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