Patricia De Lille Unapologetic, SA Tourism Displeased Over Public Announcement on Tottenham Hotspur Deal

Patricia De Lille Unapologetic, SA Tourism Displeased Over Public Announcement on Tottenham Hotspur Deal

  • Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has no regrets about how she handled the cancellation of the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal
  • The SA Tourism board members are salty that they were not consulted or given an opportunity to plead their case
  • De Lille halted the controversial over R900 million deal because SA Tourism didn't follow certain processes, making the sponsorship unlawful

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PRETORIA - South African Tourism is unhappy that Tourism Minister Patrica de Lille went public with the cancellation of the Tottenham Hotspur deal without consultation.

Patricia de Lille says SA Tourism should have briefed her on the Tottenham Hotspur deal
Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille responded to SA Tourism's unhappiness over how she cancelled the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal. Image: Brenton Geach & Tottenham Hotspur FC
Source: Getty Images

Board chairperson Thozamille Botha wrote the newly appointed minister a letter expressing the Tourism Board's displeasure with how De Lille handled the situation.

De Lille, however, is unfazed by SA Tourism's unhappiness and, in different words, told the board to get over it.

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De Lille says SA Tourism should have approached her about the Tottenham Hotspur deal

The tourism minister said the board needs to come to terms with the fact that she operates transparently and follows the rule of law, TimesLIVE reported.

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Addressing SA Toursim's concern that it wasn't consulted or allowed to plead its case before the public announcement was made, De Lille said it was the board's responsibility to approach her.

She added that upon joining the tourism department on 6 March, she requested a report from the board but never received one.

De Lille closed:

"This thing is done and dusted. It is over and gone. It is dead.”

Patricia de Lille cancels controversial Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship deal

In one of her first moves as tourism minister after taking over from Lindiwe Sisulu, De Lille held a press conference to announce that the controversial R900 million deal would be axed, eNCA reported.

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Citing the reasons for cancelling the deal, De Lille said that the amount that would be spent was unjustifiable. The tourism minister added that the board didn't follow certain processes making the Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship proposal unlawful.

In his letter to De Lille, Botha acceded to the cancellation of the contentious deal, saying that in light of the minister's public announcement, the board would not go forward with it.

Botha wrote:

"The board will no longer proceed with the transaction, nor will it seek the requisite approval for the proposed transaction."

South Africans praise Patricia de Lille for taking decisive action on Tottenham Hotspur deal

Below are some comments:

Moses Xokiyane thanked:

"Thank you, Minister De Lille. This is how they operate they are a law unto themselves and do not respect the public."

Sharon Keys praised:

"New found respect for De Lille after watching her interview last night on news channel 405 regarding this deal and the board. She did not mince her words!"

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Shalen Heeralal added:

"She has a duty to the public not to the board. Simple as that."

Drick Zaal said:

"The deal is dead and gone Thozamile Botha, we don't answer to crooks."

Mthokozisi Ndlovu commented:

"Thank you, Minister De Lille, it seems to me that this body was ready to feast on this money. This Botha guy is so arrogant."

3 SA Tourism Board members quit after public’s outcry almost R1bn Tottenham Hotspur deal, SA reacts: “Sickening”

In a related story, Briefly News reported that three South African Tourism board members resigned following public backlash over the R1 billion budgeted to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur FC.

According to TimesLIVE, Enver Duminy, Ravi Nadasen and Rosemary Anderson handed in their resignation letters to the Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu and immediately left their posts.

The former board members released a joint statement on Friday, 3 February, citing that a difference in opinions was why they quit their jobs.

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Source: Briefly News

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