Uthingo still paying winners

Uthingo will continue to pay out National Lottery winners despite the fact that its licence to operate expired at midnight on Saturday.

Uthingo will continue to pay out National Lottery winners despite the fact that its licence to operate expired at midnight on Saturday.

Uthingo's chief executive Oupa Monamodi said yesterday that players could rest assured Uthingo "will continue to protect their interests and will continue to pay prizes".

Uthingo urged retailers to continue validating tickets and making prize payments.

"However, without the assurance of certain indemnities and safeguards, Uthingo was opposed to the National Lottery Board's [NLB] decision that it must continue paying out prizes after March 31."

The NLB made an urgent application to court for an order compelling Uthingo to pay out prizes after the expiry of its licence.

Uthingo contended in court that while it was willing to pay out prizes, it needed certain indemnities and safeguards.

On Saturday Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa announced that there would be no lottery for at least a month.

"The sheer volume of work which had to be undertaken . made it impossible to conclude this work in time for me to make a new decision before the expiry of the lottery operator's licence," Mpahlwa said.

The current licence, belonging to Uthingo, expired on Saturday at midnight and "there was no legal basis to extend it in the present circumstances", he said.

A new lottery operator would be announced in a month's time. - Sapa

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