Alleged corruption probed at National Lotteries Commission

There’s currently an independent investigation by government into allegations of corruption at the National Lotteries Commission. Reporter Pule Letshwiti filed this report. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - For the past 18-years, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has published the names of the organisations receiving grant money.

But that abruptly stopped last year.

The Commission says it’s to protect beneficiaries.

“We have had serious problems, we have had serious complaints. From the very same beneficiaries that we’ve granted money. A simple example, somebody will just come from some far-flung village running a project there and say I’m getting people extorting money from me. They got the information from the public information you’ve made,” NLC spokesperson, Ndivhuho Mafela.

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The Lotteries Commission says the law is on its side and that it doesn’t need to name beneficiaries.

But the news website, GroundUp says this leaves major room for corruption, something they say, has been going on for a while.

“Last year for the very first time, after I’d exposed a lot of corruption, conflicts of interest, maladministration, you talking about hundred-of-millions of rands, the lottery for the very first time since it started, did not publish that list of names. The reason they came up with is they found a section in the lotteries act, which they said they’ve been wrong all the time and that they’ve essentially broken the law by revealing those names,” said GroundUp journalist, Raymond Joseph.

The Department of Trade and Industry says it’s investigating alleged corruption at the NLC.

Meanwhile, an organisation called United Civil Society in Action has taken the Commission and Ground Up to court, saying the list of beneficiaries cannot be made public.