The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is deeply concerned with recent developments at the National Lottery Board. There are repeated allegations of corruption and poor governance at the National Lottery Board (NLB) that have been raised in the media for many years.
These allegations include money allocated to but never received by various developmental projects. The Lottery Board is dysfunctional and has failed to build confidence in many South Africans who are already wary of industrial-scale looting.
South Africa and government cannot afford to treat such allegations lightly given the pandemic of corruption that is consuming both the public and private sector. There is more than R130 billion worth of funds at stake in the NLB.
The Federation welcomes and supports the efforts made by the Minister: Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, and the Special Investigations Unit to tackle the serious allegations of corruption bedeviling the NLB.
These investigations need to be sped up, the accused should be charged and prosecuted, and the looted assets should be attached. The silence of the National Lottery Board on these allegations is deafening and potentially revealing.
Whilst the National Lottery Act may be vague on the appointment of an interim Chair for the Board, we agree with Minister Patel’s decision to appoint an acting Chair. Sitting idly and doing nothing will have been a dereliction of responsibility.
We call on the government to consider appealing the recent court judgment because the court has failed to clarify what should happen in the event of the Chairpersonship becoming vacant.
Parliament needs to move with speed to conclude the appointment of a permanent Chair and then amend the Act to provide for procedures to appoint acting Chairs in the future.
The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition, and the SIU need to speed up their investigations into the NLB. There is a need for a public audit of all its funding programs, including conducting lifestyle audits of Board members. We cannot afford to be complacent in the face of corruption allegations and corporate malfeasance.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794