A South African official who blew the whistle on alleged corruption in the building of a stadium for the 2010 World Cup has been shot dead by unknown gunmen, an official statement said today.

Jimmy Mohlala, a member of the local organising committee for the World Cup, was shot dead late Sunday (local time) at his home in the northeastern city of Nelspruit, the Mbombela Local Council Municipality said in the statement.

“He was shot by two unknown men who were wearing balaclavas…the gunmen had been lying in wait outside the Mohlala home in an unmarked vehicle,” it said.

His son, who was with him, was also shot and wounded by the assailants who later fled the scene, the statement said.

Mohlala was a former vice president of the South African Football Association and headed the local council of Mbombela, where the stadium is being built in Nelspruit for the games.

He made headlines a year ago with reports that some members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wanted him sacked for allegedly turning in a colleague over graft claims in the construction of the Mbombela stadium.

His claims sparked an investigation into a range of allegations, including the manipulation of tenders in 2010 construction contracts, SAPA news agency said.

The 46,000-capacity Mbombela stadium, scheduled for completion this year, is one of 10 venues for the 2010 World Cup.

His death was a “huge setback” for organising the event in Nelspruit, the head of South Africa’s organising committee, Danny Jordaan, said in a statement.

– AFP

PUBLICATION: www.nzherald.co.nz
DATED: 6th January 2009