National Prosecuting Authority on preservation order to freeze properties linked to National Lotteries Commission investigations

AFU, SIU granted order to freeze five properties linked to National Lotteries Commission investigations

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have obtained a preservation order from the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria, to freeze three luxury properties, a plot, and a portion of a farm that are linked to the siphoning of lotteries grant funding meant for community development projects.

The SIU investigations in the affairs of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) have revealed that five non-profit organisations (NPO) received grant funding of approximately R56,3 million for community development projects in South Africa. The NPOs are Taung Culural Music and Arts Expo, South African Art and Development Association (SAADA), Dinosys, Matieni Community Centre, and Zibsicraft (Pty) Ltd.

SAADA applied for grant funding to assist unemployed youth in the poor and rural areas of the country, to impact skills in music, business video, film production dance and overall business of radio in South Africa.

Dinosys applied to the NLC for grant funding to assist with social hygiene in the Eastern Cape.

Matieni Community Centre applied for grant funding for home-based care in Mpumalanga Province.

Zibsicraft applied for grant funding for the purpose of community development in the Northern Cape.

Taung Cultural Music and Arts Expo applied for grant funding to the NLC for the purpose of building a museum and library in Kuruman, Northern Cape.

The SIU investigations revealed that the acquisition of the preserved properties was funded by the NPOs with money they had received, under the auspices of grant funding, from the NLC. The properties, therefore, constitute proceeds of unlawful activities hence the application for a preservation order pending the final determination of the application for final forfeiture.

In terms of the High Court order, which was granted on 21 December 2022,

SAADA represented by Arthur Mafokate (Musician and director of SAADA)

Preservation: Luxury property in Midrand

Ramulifho Family Trust represented by Lesley Ramulifho (Former NLC legal representative and Trustee

Preservation: Luxury property in Cape Town

BDH Group represented by William Elias Huma (Former NCL board member)

Preservation: Portion of a farm in Rustenburg

Alfred Ntshengedzeni Nevhutanda and Tshilidzi Rachel Nevhutanda (Former NLC board chairman and his wife)

Preservation: A plot in Pretoria

Marang Family Trust represented by Tsietsi Maselwa (Head of NLC Legal Division)

Preservation: Luxury property in Pretoria are prohibited and restraint from selling, disposing of, leasing, transferring, donating, or dealing in any manner whatsoever with respect to the immovable properties.

The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R32 of 2020, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC and the conduct of NLC officials, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State.

The collaboration between the NPA’s AFU and SIU is part of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which sees law enforcement agencies coming together to eradicate corruption in South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa