Cape Town - The Cape Town minstrels have accounted properly for funding they received from the Lotto, the
National Lotteries Board (NLB) has said.
“Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA), has submitted preliminary reports on previous tranche payments that were in line with the conditions of the grant agreement.
“As a result, subsequent payments were made. Should any report not be in line with the grant agreement, the said agreement allows for punitive action to be taken,” Nlb spokesman Sershan Naidoo said on Tuesday.
This came after the city on Monday lodged a complaint with the public protector to investigate the Lotto’s R40.64 million in funding to the CTMCA.
Last month, the Lotteries Board said that R13.32m was paid to the CTMCA in 2012 and 2013 for carnival costs, and R27.32m in 2014 for carnival costs and the Carnival Heritage Museum.
Naidoo said on Tuesday that it was the city’s “prerogative” to call for investigations by the public protector, should it see the need.
“The NLB’s responsibility is to ensure all National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) grants are utilised as outlined in the agreement and relevant annexure that details what the funds should be used for. This is what all NLDTF beneficiaries are compelled to report on,” he said.
JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security, questioned how the association came to receive the funds.
Smith said on Tuesday he was not surprised at the reaction of the Lotteries Board, as they had given the money to the minstrel association.
“It is a huge amount of money that has paid for what? Someone needs to say what it has been spent on. We have not heard one person make one statement on what it has paid for. None of the minstrels have been able to tell us if they’ve had any benefit from it.”
He said if the public protector could not investigate, the issue would be taken to the police or private prosecution.
Smith said the city was alerted to the issue by Shahieda Thole, of the Cape District Minstrel Board.
Thole said she had taken evidence of payments between the lottery fund and the minstrel group to the city, after the Lotteries Board had turned down her board’s appeal for funding because it had already been funding the CTMCA.
“Finally they are looking into this, something is being done,” she said.
In response to the city’s approach to the public protector, the CTMCA’s attorney, Naseera Parker, said in a statement: “Neither we, nor our client has had sight of the alleged complaint or allegations and as such we are not in a position to make any formal statement with regards thereto at this time, save to state that our client denies, categorically, any misappropriation of funds.”