Property Flash


Various high-end homes across South Africa (SA) have been bought through the misallocation of lottery funds; yet another example of white collar fraud in the country.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) announced this week that it had obtained a preservation order in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and had attached an assortment of these properties.

Lottery grants are supposed to be allocated to non-profit companies for good causes but too often this money is misappropriated and SA is all the worse for it.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been collecting evidence to go after fraudsters who abuse lotto funds.

Among the houses seized are a mountainside mansion in Cape Town, owned by a trust controlled by Pretoria-based lawyer Lesley Ramulifho, a hotel owned by a company led by former National Lotteries Commission (NLC) board member William Huma, in the foothills of the Kgaswane Nature Reserve Mountains and home in a gated estate in Pretoria, owned by a trust controlled by former NLC legal manager Tsietsi Maselwa. There is even a 14-hectare plot in Pretoria owned by former NLC board chairperson, businessman, Alfred Nevhutanda, and his wife, Tshilidzi. The rot is clear at the NLC, which regulates the lottery.

“The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) was established in terms of the Lotteries Amendment Act (No 32 of 2013) to regulate the National Lottery as well as other lotteries, including society lotteries to raise funds and promotional competitions. The NLC evolved out of the National Lotteries Board, established in terms of the Lotteries Act No 57 of 1997,” it explains on its website.

But SA’s national lottery has been mired in controversy for years. An example is the scandal around its operating licence. There was the multi-year spat between investment group Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) and Ithuba, the lottery operator, for example.

The investment group had taken legal action against Ithuba back in 2019, saying that it was owed management fees by the lottery operator. HCI, which has investments in hotels and casinos such as through Montecasino owner Tsogo Sun Hotels, has been in a legal spat with Ithuba since Ithuba won the licence to manage the lottery from June 2015 to May 2023.

Ithuba was founded by Charmaine Mabuza. She and her husband, Eric Mabuza, founded Zamani to manage the lottery on behalf of Ithuba. Eric Mabuza is the chair of Zamani. According to HCI, Ithuba overpaid Zamani by more than R1bn.

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