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Uthingo to challenge Gidani's appointment

By unknown | Jan 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

The battle for control of Lotto must be settled by March 31.

In the one corner is Uthingo, South Africa's current national lottery operator, and in the other is the politically well-connected Gidani.

Uthingo is angry that Gidani has now become the government's preferred operator and is challenging the decision in the Pretoria high court.

Uthingo's chief executive, Oupa Monamodi, confirmed they would not take their loss lying down: "We are not happy with the process followed to award the lottery licence [to Gidani] and we are challenging the decision."

Monamodi, however, refused to disclose the merits of their case.

The decision on who controls the lottery will have to be finalised by the end of March, the last day of Uthingo's five-year contract with the Department of Trade and Industry.

The announcement of Gidani as the new Lotto operator last month was met with astonishment because the group is made up of many former and current leaders of the ANC.

Among Gidani's heavyweight members are reportedly multimillionaire businessman and former ANC secretary Cyril Ramaphosa, NEC member Max Sisulu, Independent Electoral Commission head Brigalia Bam, former Transnet chief executive Bongani Khumalo, pictured above, and former Western Cape ANC leader Chris Nissen.

It was reported earlier this week that Gidani was pressing ahead with preparations to take over Lotto.

"We continue to assert that we won the licence to operate the national lottery from April 1 in a thorough, scrupulous, well- managed and fair contest," Gidani chairman and interim chief executive Bongani Khumalo was quoted as saying.

Gidani officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.


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