Tourism minister Patricia De Lille called on the SA Tourism board to reject the proposed sponsorship deal with Tottenham Hotspur football club immediately.
Earlier this month, De Lille said that she would consider the Tottenham Hotspur deal and that she was awaiting a report that would arrive on her desk.
After receiving legal opinion, she has now voiced her firm opposition to the proposed deal, which would see SA Tourism enter a sponsorship deal with the English premier league football team.
She said that she received legal advice that shows that the proposed deal is unlawful and invalid on three counts.
1. Sole source procurement
The sponsorship violates the constitution as the proposed sponsorship was proposed to be acquired through sole source procurement – which is only allowed when there is no competition in the market.
It does not appear that there was no competition in the market in this case.
2. Improper budgeting process
The deal was not budgeted for as required by the Public Finances Management Act. The expenditure would be considered irregular or unauthorized in terms of the act due to the non-compliance.
3. Significant partnership
The proposed deal would amount to a “significant partnership transaction”, which would require the approval of the minister of tourism to go ahead.
Questions to the board
De Lille has now submitted a series of questions to the South African tourism board to confirm if they agree with the findings of the legal opinion.
The deal has not yet been scrapped, but De Lille was emphatic that the proposal might as well be stopped completely.
“Everything we do will be done in accordance with the law and due process,” she said, adding that the proposed deal has been “marred in controversy”.