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Luxury property ‘bought with lottery funds for community projects’ is attached

The SIU has obtained a preservation order to freeze a luxury property owned by a company linked to a former lotteries boss.
The SIU has obtained a preservation order to freeze a luxury property owned by a company linked to a former lotteries boss.
Image: SIU

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has obtained a preservation order from the Special Tribunal to freeze a luxury property allegedly bought for R27m with money from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

The Wonderboom property is owned by Vhuthanda Investments, whose sole director is Prof Alfred Nevhutanda, a former chairperson of the NLC board, the SIU said.

Its investigation has revealed the property was allegedly funded under the auspices of grant funding in 2018, it said.

The SIU said five non-profit organisations had applied for grant funding from the NLC and jointly received more than R100m.

“Immediately after the funding was received, the NPOs transferred a significant sum of the grant funding to a legal firm for the purchase, transfer and registration of the Wonderboom property, including the furniture,” said SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

“Prof Nevhutanda was a member of the adjudication committee that approved grant funding for some of the NPOs.”

The R100m in grant funding was purported to be for community empowerment projects including athletics tracks in North West and Mpumalanga, old age homes in North West and Limpopo and a rehabilitation centre in Soshanguve, Gauteng.

Kganyago said in terms of the Special Tribunal order, Nevhutanda and Vhuthanda Investments are prohibited from selling, disposing of, leasing, transferring or donating the immovable property and the furniture.

The property is under the care of a curator.

Kganyago said the SIU will institute civil proceedings within 60 days, seeking to review and set aside the decisions by the NLC to approve funding for the NGOs — War_Rna NPO, Inqaba Yokulinda, Mushumo Ushava Zwanda, Simingaye Community Project NPO and Zibsilor NPO — and recover financial losses suffered by the state.

Civil action will also be launched against Nevhutanda and Vhuthanda Investments “for the disgorgement of secret profits improperly earned during the tenure of Prof Nevhutanda as chairperson of the board of the NLC”.

TimesLIVE

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