Lotteries' Commission spends R720 000 fighting Ebrahim Patel – Mat Cuthbert

DA MP says NLC board spent this sum litigating against minister's dept

Lotteries' Commission uses R720 000 to wage war against Minister Patel 

22 April 2021

In response to parliamentary questions posed by the DA, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel has revealed that the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) spent R720 000 litigating against his department.

The response furnished to him by NLC Commissioner, Thabang Mampane, has said that these costs are related to “…the investigation commissioned by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition and final report thereof as reported to Parliament and law enforcement agencies”. 

However, Patel raises the following concern about the quality of response received;

“I am advised by my officials that there are apparent discrepancies between the reply furnished herein and information supplied to the department by the NLC and will seek to have these explained and if it requires a revised reply, this will be submitted to parliament”.

The legal action taken by the NLC comes after the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Director-General, Lionel October, stated in a portfolio committee meeting in September 2020 that;

“After numerous articles continued to appear in the media alleging abuse of Lottery funding, the Department in March 2020, authorised an investigation into the allegations”. The mandate of this investigation included four projects namely; Life for Impact (R10 106 800); I am Made for God’s Glory (R11 000 000); Zibsimasi (R4 800 000) and Denzhe Primary Care (R27 500 000).

These allegations included the hijacking of a drug rehabilitation centre that was never completed to shelf companies - linked to the NLC hierarchy - that received grants.

This latest action by the rogue NLC board, is yet another indication that there is full-blown civil war going on between Patel and themselves.

As this follows a series of strategic leaks to the media by the NLC board, letters to and from between the Patel and the board as well as the board’s public rejection of the appointment of an acting chairperson of the NLC – until a new chairperson is appointed by Patel.

The DA has repeatedly called on Patel to fire the board and place the organisation under administration but this has fallen on deaf ears.

Now, he must deal with consequences for failing to act decisively against them.

Lastly, the DA finds it unconscionable that the R720 000 that has been spent on vexatious litigation could have rather been spent on providing funding to the most vulnerable in our society.

Issued by Mat Cuthbert, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, 22 April 2021