Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa permitted the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) preservation order by the Special Tribunal to freeze about R2.4 million held in four bank accounts linked to the National Lotteries Commission’s (NLC) official in KwaZulu-Natal and his wife, pending the final determination of a civil action to be brought by the unit within 60 days.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the money was paid into the accounts by non-profit organisations that received funding from the NLC to improve the conditions of ordinary South Africans but made its way into bank accounts for self-enrichment.
He said in terms of the order dated September 13, 2023, the suspended NLC official Sibonelo Vilakazi, his wife Nosipho Zanele Zuma, and 05 ZZET ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD, solely owned by Zuma, are prohibited from dealing in any manner with funds held in the frozen bank accounts.
Kganyago said in August 2023, the Tribunal granted a similar order pending the intervention application by the SIU in a matter brought by Zuma against FNB before the High Court of South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Local Division, Durban, and the subsequent conclusion of the main application to be brought by the SIU in the Special Tribunal.
The bank had frozen Zuma’s bank accounts through its own processes. The High Court granted the order in favour of Zuma.
As a result, the SIU approached the Special Tribunal to vary the order so that it was not dependent on any other court process.
“An investigation by the SIU into the affairs of the NLC revealed that Vilakazi approached daycare centres and football clubs in KZN to apply for grant funding. Immediately after receiving funding, football clubs and care centres would transfer large sums of money into 05 ZZET ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD’s bank account and those linked to Zuma and Vilakaz,” said Kganyago.
He said a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre states that ZZET Enterprises received multiple electronic fund transfer payments from several care centres and football clubs of about R32 259 707.
“SIU investigations show that more than 400 care centres and football clubs made payments to accounts linked to Vilakazi and Zuma from money received from the NLC between 2019 and 2023,” he said.
Kganyago added that SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R32 of 2020, authorised by Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the NLC and the conduct of NLC officials and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State.
He said the SIU is empowered by the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 to institute civil action in the Special Tribunal or the High Court to correct any wrongdoing it uncovers in its investigation.
The SIU refers the evidence pointing to criminal conduct to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.