South Africa – The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has obtained a Special Tribunal order interdicting the R1 .
7 million pension payout due to former National Lotteries Commission’s (NLC) Grant Manager, Marubini Ramatsekisa .
This in a long-running action taken by the SIU following an investigation into the affairs of the NLC .
The probe has resulted in, amongst others, the freezing of millions of rands in assets and the implication of board members of the commission in serious allegations of fraud and corruption at the commission .
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago explained that Ramatsekisa allegedly “orchestrated a scheme that resulted in the NLC losing approximately R4 million” and was a “key player” in a scheme to defraud the commission through active funding of a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) .
“The SIU’s investigation revealed that on 20 February 2019, Ramatsekisa prepared a proposal for pro-active funding and recommended that the acting chief operating officer approve pro-active funding of approximately R4 million to conduct a study that will assist in developing the Khoi-San language .
“Three weeks later, three people acquired and became directors of a dormant shelf company named Zibsicraft NPC .
From the documents in the SIU’s possession, Zibsicraft NPC then applied to the NLC for grant funding .
The application is not stamped, which means it was never processed by the client liaison officer .
The application was dated 25 March 2019, ten days after they had acquired the company .
“The application was accompanied by financial statements prepared for the periods ending 28 February 2018 and 28 February 2019 .
However, the NPO only opened a bank account on 19 March 2019, six days before it applied for funding,” Kganyago said .
He added that some R2 .
2 million of the dodgy funding was allegedly siphoned “towards purchasing property for a church… [and] in the offer to purchase, the church was being represented by the former NLC Board Chairperson, Alfred Nevhutanda and his wife, Mrs Tshilidzi Rachel Nevhutanda” .
Kganyago said the unit intends to “institute civil proceedings against Mr Ramatsekisa to recover damages suffered by NLC because of his conduct” .
In September last year, SIU Head Advocate Andy Mothibi told the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry that the unit’s investigation had revealed some that some R279 million was siphoned out of the coffers of the NLC .
“This investigation has been so intense, massive and complex in terms of tracing the money but the investigation will reveal that .
The amount of money that was under investigation in phase one was about R279 million .
The evidence has indicated that this money was corruptly siphoned out of the NLC, with the assistance of certain executives and certain board members .
“This is an organised syndicate meant to siphon money from the NLC .
We have used trace methods and technology that has led us to all the monies that we have traced .
This investigation also entailed meticulous analysis of bank accounts and payment processes from various banks, and we traced which bank accounts benefitted and which ones benefitted corruptly,” Mothibi said .