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Diverted Lotto millions: 'Can we please get to holding people to account!'

24 September 2020 6:58 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
OUTA
LOTTO
allegations of corruption
National Lottery
organisation undoing tax abuse
Stefanie Fick
National Lotteries Commission

Outa's Stefanie Fick urges the speedy investigation of allegations against the suspended COO of the National Lotteries Commission.
FILE: Image: @NationalLotteriesCommission/Facebook.com.

South Africa's lottery regulator, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), has been facing down a slew of allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

RELATED: Exposé: 'Lotto millions for new Limpopo stadium not built, old one renovated'

The commission finally released lists of its beneficiaries under sustained pressure, after first fighting the move.

RELATED: National Lotteries Commission's finally released beneficiary list raises questions

In July, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) laid criminal complaints of racketeering and fraud in connection with allegedly dodgy Lottery-funded projects.

More recently, it said NLC Chief Operating Officer Phillemon Letwaba has breached the code of conduct of the South African Institute of Chartered Accounts (Saica).

Arabile Gumede interviews Advocate Stefanie Fick, Executive Director of Outa's Accountability Division.

Breaching the code of conduct - not only the fact that he [Letwaba] was the COO of the National Lotteries Commission, but he's also a chartered accountant... His behaviour also points to contravening some of their [watch body Saica] ethics rules.

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

You will remember that Anoj Singh - who was part of Eskom - has recently been found guilty by Saica and they removed him from the roll, so that means he can no longer be a chartered accountant.

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

After they've done their investigation we hope that it will happen in this case as well.

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

Letwaba has been on "leave of absence" since being suspended earlier in the year.

Fick details some of the examples of alleged abuse of Lotto funds under his watch.

We were lucky with whistleblowers and so forth to uncover that monies were allegedly siphoned off from the NLC, money that's supposed to do good work, and eventually siphoned to bank accounts of Letwaba or at least he ensured that money goes to certain individuals.

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

Zibsifusion - that was money that was supposed to build toilets in schools [in Limpopo]... It's heartbreaking to think that this money was supposed to do good, it's for children and the monies were just not used for the purpose.

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

Yes, there are allegations but can we please investigate these allegations so that we can get to what really happens and hold people to account!

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

The question is: Where is the accountability?... Where is the disciplinary hearing?... There's a process and can we please start with the process!

Stefanie Fick, Executive Director: Accountability Division - Outa

For more from Fick on the reported corruption at the NLC, take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : Diverted Lotto millions: 'Can we please get to holding people to account!'


24 September 2020 6:58 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
OUTA
LOTTO
allegations of corruption
National Lottery
organisation undoing tax abuse
Stefanie Fick
National Lotteries Commission

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