Former Lotto Commission exec’s pension frozen

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has obtained a preservation order against the R2.8 million pension payout of former National Lotteries Commission (NLC) chief operating officer, Philemon Letwaba.

This as the corruption busting unit instituted an investigation into allegations of corruption and maladministration at the NLC and the conduct of officials.

According to SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, the investigation has thus far revealed that Letwaba allegedly “personally benefitted” from NLC funding directed to at least six non-profit organisations.

Letwaba allegedly “used friends and family businesses and trusts” to receive the money.

“In one of several NLC funded projects investigated by the SIU, it was revealed that a Limpopo-based NPO received approximately R25 million for the refurbishment of a torched school in Vuwani.

“Twelve days after the NPO received the money, it allegedly transferred approximately R4 million to Unbrand Properties without evidence of work being done and in violation of the funding agreement,” Kganyago said.

The preservation order, the spokesperson said, was filed on an urgent basis at the Special Tribunal.

“The Special Tribunal order… interdicts Liberty Group — the pension administrator — from paying out pension benefits to the value of approximately R2.8 million due to Mr. Letwaba, pending the final determination of an application to be brought by the SIU against Mr. Letwaba within 60 days.

“The SIU approached the Special Tribunal on an urgent basis to freeze the pension benefits of Mr. Letwaba after he resigned from the NLC, pending the institution of a disciplinary hearing into his role in the distribution of NLC funds to several NPOs,” Kganyago said.

In June this year, the SIU obtained a freezing order against the R27 million luxury property owned by former NLC board chairperson, Prof Alfred Nevhutanda’s investment company, Vhuthanda Investment.

Nevhutanda allegedly bought the home with grant funding monies from NPOs.

Source: South African Government News Agency