News24

Court asked to force lotto to honour R20m grant

2012-02-07 15:34

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court is being asked to force the National Lotteries Board to honour a R20.4m grant that it withdrew barely a month after awarding.

According to a press release by Adams and Adams on Tuesday, papers have been lodged demanding the setting aside of the decision to withdraw the grant made to the Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy.

In an affidavit submitted to the court, Molteno's chief executive Masennya Dikotla claims that it was awarded the grant on June 10.

The money was for a project that would have resulted in the provision of 500 mobile libraries with 250 000 books to areas that did not have library facilities, he said.

However, the term of office of the distributing agency which approved the grant ended on July 9.

Dikotla said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies authorised members of the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to act as an interim distributing agency while a new distribution agency was found.

Molteno was informed that its grant had been withdrawn because, "due to the current budget constraints of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), projects of this magnitude and extent cannot be funded".

Suspicious

He said requests for information made in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act had been ignored.

Dikotla said he doubted that there were budgetary constraints.

"We seriously doubt the truth of this, as the award was made and withdrawn in the space of a couple of months within the same financial year.

"We are also particularly suspicious considering the Supreme Court judgment of September 2011 that stated the national lottery had underspent by R6bn [in 2009]."

Documents Molteno submitted to the court show that the NLDTF had more than R2bn at the end of March 2011 which had not been distributed.

Molteno's lawyer Jac Marais said that according to the National Lotteries Act, Davies could reverse grants made only in exceptional circumstances, such as illegal activities being carried out. In Molteno's case, those circumstances did not apply.

"We suspect that there are other NGOs whose grants may also have been illegally withdrawn," said Marais.

NLB spokesperson Sershan Naidoo said he could not comment on Molteno's court action, other than to say that "we are studying Molteno's [court] papers and we will respond directly to them".

Last month, 400 members of various non-profit organisations staged a protest outside the NLB's offices demanding that it face a forensic audit and that board members be subjected to a lifestyle audit.

Comments
  • Justin - 2012-02-07 15:46

    boring!!!

  • Marion - 2012-02-07 15:50

    Do a complete forensic audit of the National Lottery Board's offices and lifestyle audits PLEASE. I have to wonder how, in SA, the lotto is won every time it is a guaranteed jackpot. Not only that, the frequency with which other jackpots are won is questionable.

      Lorna Murdoch-Eaton - 2013-11-10 19:55

      Totally agree, I wouldn't mind betting that Lotto money is being misappropriated - certainly they are not giving grants to many desparate and deserving non-profit organisations. Particularly those charities involving animal welfare and wildlife protection ... those are not even considered charities by some sectors of the community.

  • odupreez - 2012-02-07 15:55

    caculates to either R80 per book - with no library, or R40,000 per one moble library with no books - does sound suspicious, they grant should be investigated before it is allocated, as it is not a workable budget.

      chasgibbons - 2012-02-07 16:23

      Have you bought a book lately? Costs of printed material in this country is beyond the reach of average citizens..

      odupreez - 2012-02-08 14:50

      @Chasgibbons - exactly so 250,000 books can not be bought, a mobile library will cost around R500,000 each, so how is it possible with the small amount of money granted - it is not a workable situation, if the money was 5 times that amount it would make sense, so this might most probably be an attempt to defraud the lottery money.

      Lorna Murdoch-Eaton - 2013-11-10 20:00

      Wouldn't it be likely that other donors would be adding to this grant? That's the way most charities I know (used to) work when they got Lotto grants (before it was shut down and taken over by the present incumbents). The grant was the major sponsor of the charity but the community did their bit too.

  • Alva - 2012-02-07 15:57

    Good on Molteno. I bet the NLB members are skimming off money. Hope they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Disgusting that NGO's have to do without. The object of the LOTTO was to help fund charities. Answers please Rob Davies!

  • George - 2012-02-07 16:17

    yada yada yada........friggin thieves..... WITH CAPITALS.....

  • pws69 - 2012-02-07 16:18

    So, FIVE HUNDRED libraries, serving TENS OF THOUSANDS of poor South Africans do not get lotto funding, but a KISSING contest, with no goal other than partying up a storm, and a FOR PROFIT Jazz festival get lotto finding to the tune of over R100 million. You know what, its fine. The people who would have benefited from the libraries can go and thank their parents for voting ANC. You got EXACTLY what you voted for. Live with it.

  • pws69 - 2012-02-07 16:19

    It must also be noted that this is not the first time Rob Davies has BROKEN THE LAW when it comes to the Lotto. VERY ANC of him.

  • Jeffrey - 2012-02-07 16:22

    they must stop using thier machines, but use hand picking the balls

      Lorna Murdoch-Eaton - 2013-11-10 20:05

      @Jeffrey, I think the fraud would probably be at a different level than the actual draw itself. The tickets, the money in the "pot", the distributors - those are all vulnerable areas. Lotteries are very easy to plunder by unscrupulous administrators, that's why a forensic audit should be held regularly, and by legitimate and well-known ethical auditors. The results of which should be made public all the way along the line.

  • Shirley - 2012-02-07 16:54

    We tata the chance -they tata the millions!

  • anthony.swart - 2012-02-07 17:02

    its time the Indians relinquish control of the Lotto coz we all know that misadventure is afoot when they are involved, its deplorable.

  • Andrew - 2012-02-07 20:55

    When is Sershan Naidoo finally going to be fired? This has been going on for over 7 years now - enough already!

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