Lottery grant recipients' cars and property seized after alleged athletics track fraud
Only R4.2m of R19.2m earmarked for sports amenities was used for its purpose
The Special Tribunal has ordered beneficiaries of National Lotteries Commission (NLC) grant funding to surrender a residential property in Gauteng and four luxury vehicles to a curator appointed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
The order, handed down on Monday, comes after the SIU approached the Special Tribunal seeking a preservation order to freeze and surrender assets.
The respondents in the matter are Buyisiwe Khoza, Tshepo Montsho, Jabulane Sibanda, Terence Magogodela, Indaba Yokulinda, Unicus Solu(IT)ons Pty Ltd and Boitumelo Diutlwileng.
The SIU application followed an investigation into the affairs of NLC and its employees, which revealed that Inqaba Yokulinda, a non-profit organisation, received funding from the commission in two tranches for a total of R19.2m between February 2018 and September 2019 for the construction of athletics tracks in North West and Mpumalanga.
“The SIU investigation revealed that the granting of this funding was conducted in a manner contrary to the Lotteries Act, the grant funding policies and the relevant regulations,” said the investigating unit's spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.
“Furthermore, [the] SIU investigation into the funding revealed, prima facie, that there is evidence of collusion between employees of the NLC and members of Inqaba Yokulinda, including unconnected third parties who partook in the scheme to obtain R19.2m funding from the NLC for their own personal use. Only R4.2m of the R19.2m was used for its intended purpose,” Kganyago said.
The SIU, according to Kganyago, wants the Special Tribunal to review and set aside the decision by the NLC to award grant funding to Inqaba Yokulinda and to recover financial losses suffered by the NLC and the state through civil litigation.
The vehicles surrendered include two Mercedes-Benz AMGs, an Audi and a Honda. The property surrendered is in Zwartkop.
Kganyago said President Cyril Ramaphosa had directed the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by the NLC together with the conduct of its employees.
The SIU would refer evidence pointing to criminality to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.