The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) are set to freeze and attach four Limpopo-based properties and three luxury vehicles belonging to an entity linked to the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) fraud and corruption.
Last year, a crackdown on NLC fraud and corruption resulted in mass resignations of NLC officials who were fingered in a slew of corrupt activities linked to hijacked NPOs as well as those belonging to close family and friends.
Five key staff members at the commission were subsequently suspended, with others resigning en masse in the face of the crackdown led by the SIU.
On Monday, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed the latest preservation order, saying the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, had already granted the AFU and SIU preservation orders against the Limpopo properties and luxury vehicles which include a Rolls Royce, BMW 7 Series and 5 Series sedans linked to corruption at the embattled commission.
These vehicles and four properties are said to have a combined value of R14 million.
“The High Court order is to preserve four properties in Polokwane and Louis Trichardt, Limpopo province, and three luxury vehicles (Rolls Royce Phantom, BMW G30 5 series sedan, BMW 7 series sedan, with a combined value of R14 million.
“These properties are preserved pending an application for a forfeiture order, and registered owners are interdicted from dealing in any manner with the frozen properties,” Kganyago said.
According to the SIU, the order was granted on September, 28, 2023, in terms of Section 38 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 120 of 1998.
Last year, former NLC Commissioner Thabang Mampane and former chief operating officer Phillemon Letwaba, both of whom were facing disciplinary hearings involving Lottery funds, were forced to resign as the SIU intensified its probe into corrupt activitIes at NLC.
Former board member William Huma also resigned last year after he was confronted with allegations of corruption on his part.
Kganyago said, previously, the AFU and the SIU had obtained two preservation orders related to NLC, which resulted in the attachment of 14 immovable properties to the value of R67 million.
“This order stems from serious maladministration and corruption at NLC, uncovered by the SIU, after the SIU, in terms of the proclamation R32 of 2020, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegation of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC and the conduct of its officials and recover any financial losses suffered by the state,” he said.
NLC officials have been accused of facilitating corruption through funding of non-existent NPOs as well as hijacking NPOs in order to further the ends of corruption.
“The SIU investigations found fraud and corruption at NLC to the value of R344 million, where board members and senior employees of NLC and their family members and friends enriched themselves with NLC grants allocated for projects to assist in mostly impoverished communities,” Kganyago added.