Lotteries' Commissioner contradicts Minister – Mat Cuthbert

DA MP says there is confusion surrounding Uprising Youth Development’s “Mystery Project”

Lotteries' Commissioner contradicts Minister Zulu on Uprising Youth Development’s “Mystery Project”

16 March 2021

In December 2020, the Democratic Alliance (DA) revealed damning evidence related to a “Mystery Project” in Louis Trichardt that the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) had given R5.5 million to.

We discovered that Uprising Youth Development (UYD), the recipient of this funding, was allegedly aligned to the African National Congress (ANC) and was found to have been campaigning on their behalf during the 2016 Local Government Elections.

During our investigation into this project we submitted several questions to Minister Lindiwe Zulu in order to ascertain the compliance status of this non-governmental organisation (NGO).

She revealed that according to affidavits supplied by the NGO to the Department of Social Development (DSD) in 2019 they possessed no bank account and therefore could not accept any donations from sponsors.

However, in a recent set of responses to my parliamentary questions by NLC Commissioner, Thabang Mampane, she revealed that:

“The NLC can confirm that funds were disbursed into an account registered in the name of funded organisation” and;

“The funding was for Transformation and Development Programmes; Sport Equipment and Apparel; and Administration in Alexander Bay, Northern Cape”.

A couple of questions arise as result of these responses

How is it possible that the R5.5 million was disbursed into an account registered in the name of the organisation, when the DSD received confirmation from UYD that they did not have a bank account?

How is it possible that a small NGO that doesn’t seem to have much of a footprint outside of the Louis Trichardt area, able to deliver on a R5.5 million project in the Northern Cape?

It is clear that something is up and somebody is not telling the truth. However, Commissioner Mampane has sought to hide behind the fact that the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) is currently looking into the project and cannot divulge any further details to allay our concerns.

This is simply not good enough and the public deserves to know what is going on at the NLC.

Until the NLC’s Commissioner and board are fired, nothing will change and the looting will continue.

Issued by Mat Cuthbert,DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, 16 March 2021