Keeping it all in the Lotto family

2011-11-13 16:00

Johannesburg - A company employing the daughter of the National Lotteries Board’s chairperson, scored more than R41m in lottery money to stage arts extravaganzas overseas.

This made Makhaya Arts and Culture - the company employing Professor Alfred Nevhutanda’s daughter - the biggest winner of Lotto funds among arts and culture organisations in the last year.

The award uncovered by Media24 Investigations has now sparked uncomfortable questions for Nevhutanda, a prominent Limpopo ANC member.

His daughter Murendwa Nevhutanda, a 22-year-old film school graduate, started working as a marketing executive for Makhaya in May last year.

Only weeks before she was hired, Makhaya’s multimillion-rand grant from the Lotteries Board was ­approved.

The award to Makhaya is more than the R40m controversially given to the National Youth Development Agency for last December’s World Youth ­Festival.

In the last financial year, the ­Grahamstown National Arts Festival received R14.3m, the Endangered Wildlife Trust R2.8m and the Rural Development Network R3.65m. All three organisations qualify for funding in the same category as ­Makhaya.


The decision to give millions to Makhaya – which calls itself a non-profit outfit but charges up to R400 000 for a stand at its events – was made by a lottery funding agency on which Nevhutanda had sat until weeks ­before Makhaya’s funding ­application.

He left the lottery distribution agency responsible for arts and culture – where he served since 2006 – to become National Lotteries Board chairperson in ­December 2009.

One of the responsibilities of the board is oversight of lottery spending and final approval of distribution agency grants.

The board said Nevhutanda had declared his daughter’s position with Makhaya in ­August this year – about 18 months after she joined it.

Shelagh Gastrow, a member of the Funding Practice Alliance, said it was “unfortunate that such large amounts are given to an organisation with familial relations with the chair of the board, but small ­organisations are turned down ­because a page is missing from their application”.

In March the alliance published a report slating the board for its tardiness in processing applications and seemingly arbitrary decisions as to who gets funding.

Child Welfare

“If [Makhaya] is able to show that its board is voluntary and that it is not a mere conduit for a marketing-type company, the question is, ‘Why did this non-profit deserve such a massive injection when Child Welfare was told it’s too dependent on lotteries?’” ­Gastrow asked.

“It’s poor practice at the very least,” said Judith February ofthe ­Institute for Democracy.

Murendwa Nevhutanda said: “I am not conflicted. I am just an employee and have no dealings with the National Lotteries Board or National Lotteries Fund.”

She said at the time the funding application was approved – the month before she started working there – she was not aware of ­Makhaya’s existence.

She also holds directorships in four other companies.

Makhaya’s CEO, Zarko Taric, was aware of the family connection, but denied any conflict of interest.

“Our grant was applied for and approved prior to us hearing about her. Her functions and duties have nothing to do with the National Lotteries Board. Her father had nothing to do with the approval of our grant,” he said.

'Best candidate'

Asked why she was hired, he said she was the “best candidate”.

Makhaya received two grants totalling over R41m from the lottery’s arts, culture and national heritage distribution agency in the 2010/2011 financial year, the highest amount paid in that ­category.

“Professor Nevhutanda was a member of the Distributing Agency for Arts, Culture and National Heritage only until his appointment as chairperson of the National Lotteries Board on 2 December 2009. He was therefore not involved in the adjudication of this application.”

Professor Nevhutanda did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Fred - 2011-11-13 16:34

    I have always known that the lotteries board and the lottery organisers are crooks. How do I know? Easy. Every other institution in which ANC cadres are deployed is corrupt. I would love to know just how many ANC comrades have in fact won the jackpot over the years. They draw the lottery before it is broadcast. The silly auditor girl is a stage prop. They draw the lottery, quickly register a winning ticket and then broadcast the draw.

      Dirk - 2011-11-13 17:08

      A filthy sewer of lies and corruption.In SA we have first degree stealing, but has now eventually managed to make a contribution to international business/economy - second, third and fourth degree theft

      John - 2011-11-13 17:15

      ANC = Association of National Criminals, Abortion Murder Genocide.

      Fred - 2011-11-13 20:06

      @philip I never mentioned race - you seem obsessed with it.

      Yar - 2011-11-13 20:20

      Howzit Eradicate At last you've arrived. Congratulations on your consistency. Your cut and paste junk off the internet has, as always no bearing on this article. Are you incapable of original thought?

      Fred - 2011-11-13 20:34

      @Eradicate_WhitePrivilege Like Philip you appear to be race obsessed. Are you trying to suggest that any exposure of corruption in government is racially based? I assume so. What you write says a lot about you.

      Yar - 2011-11-13 21:04

      @Fred Be kind and gentle with EWP. He is disgusted with the lot that life has dealt him. Since conception nothing has gon his way. Started life of as black. Then it got worse. His education left him scarred and brainless. Now when he thinks he is being really smart (4 friends took 8 months to get him to copy and paste) by posting irrelevant junk from wikipedia, nobody loves him.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-11-13 22:25

      It was always going to eventually come out that the ANC hogs would eventually be caught snorting and sniffling around inside the Lotto was just a matter of time before the public found out. They can't help's genetic.

  • Hester - 2011-11-13 16:52

    Yes, I guess if any company benefited from such a large donation, it would be more likely to find a candidate with a familial connection the "best candidate".... she should not even have been considered. In the meantime, schools for special needs learners are cash strapped, battling to just exist. If Makhaya can charge R400 000 per stall per event, then surely they do not need the money from the lottery, do they

  • debbiewiblin - 2011-11-13 16:57

    bunch of bloody crooks...i never buy a ticket any more...not for years because it just lines their pockets....South Africans should boycott the lottery....

      pat.bromilowdowning - 2011-11-13 18:02

      Also stopped buying lotto tickets many moons ago for the same reasons.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-11-13 22:44

      Same here pat.

  • Starlight3 - 2011-11-13 17:00

    Nepotism is alive and well in S.A. So, what's new? If there's a corrupt buck to be made, the top-brass will find a way!

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-13 17:00

    The LOTTO is merely a device to tax the poor, as most people who are financially satisfied don't play it. Pity even then the well off manage to abuse it - I think it should be banned, gambling gives people false hope.

  • charmaine.rowlands - 2011-11-13 17:00

    Organisations that truly ARE NGO's and who feed the hungry, save endangered animals, provide shelter for the homeless, are overlooked!! Now we know why! This is outrageous. Mr Nevhutanda should not be answering "uncomfortable" questions - he should be charged with corruption immediately and then investigated! Please! this is yet another scheme for a top ANC official to use his office for his own gain. Sick of these people.

  • Julie - 2011-11-13 17:07

    This did not come as a surprise! Crooks!

  • braamc - 2011-11-13 17:12

    Born thieves

  • Frans - 2011-11-13 17:18

    Always figured this thing was/ is rigged...

  • Francois - 2011-11-13 17:23

    It is now time for the other organisations that lost out to stand together and take legal action against these bastards. Do you realise how many kids could have been fed with this wasted money?

  • Louis - 2011-11-13 17:27

    Viva ANC, Viva eCorruption, Viva eMoney, Viva eSpending, Viva

  • Sinjoku - 2011-11-13 17:30

    Who is dumb here??? The people stealing or the people putting their hard earned money into their pockets? STOP..... There is NO get rich quick scheme. And those advertised ALWAYS have a catch, no different with regards to Lotto. I ask is it them that is bad OR the people that feed this bullsh1t front. Cry when you read this but still go spend R200 on lotto tickets. Absolute joke.

      Gareth - 2011-11-13 17:43

      If you actually read what you wrote you'll find that your comments are callous and selfish. Why don’t you give not eating for a couple of days a bash, while you sleep under a bridge in the rain and cold while these absolute wastes of human beings rape your existence! You should be ashamed you actually made that comment. The Lotto was partly introduced to fund growth and development, not splash on your kids international travels.

      Yar - 2011-11-13 17:56

      A Lottery is no more than an additional tax, for people who don't undertsand mathematics.

      Matt - 2011-11-13 18:00

      Sinjoku u sound like u are a family member to a high ranking ANC member. Dare u to go stand in ur own impoverished community and shout ur words out loud....would b ur last words ever imbecile.

      Gareth - 2011-11-13 18:00

      @Yar - You are 5 times more likely to get struck by lightning than win the Power Ball Lotto. Although the published winnings for the top end prizes in our Lotto defy a few mathematical principles. We once had 19 winners, 19, Nineteen, NINETEEN!!! If I were one of those 19 people I would definitely stay inside when the Highveld starts up its thundershowers.

      Sinjoku - 2011-11-13 18:20

      Uhmmmm. So if i read you correctly Beastly you believe it is the right way to go spending what little mmoney one has on lotto tickets??? Honestly your comment makes the LOTTO even worse. I worked for what I have and I will have to continue for the better part of my life. I am in no ways linked to the ANC Matt. And if you actually had half a brain and googled my tag (ID name) you would know what it means. Never the less you go on keep spending money on the LOTTO, Yarr has it correct LOTTO is a "FREE WILL" tax. Yet that is not the real reason people play it. People play it to get rich quick. If you actually took the time to see my point you would see that I have a valid point. I wish you the best of luck in winning the "Big ticket" I bet R 1000,00 you never see one in your hand. Rather pay you bills than pray for money to come easy.

      Gareth - 2011-11-13 19:34

      @ Sinjoku - Your point unfortunately gets swallowed by your complete ignorance to the poor, impoverished, desperate citizens of this land. If I could actually contribute through the purchase of a Lotto ticket then I would, however I never play it as from its inception it has been dubious at best. The point you are missing is that legitimate funds are being bastardised by corrupt monsters who do not even care that their own man is suffering. The story was not about the mathematical probability of winning and hence the lunacy of playing, it was about the funds that apparently are being stolen right from the mouths of those that need them. Surely you can see this point?

  • Gareth - 2011-11-13 17:38

    Feed the poor - No thanks! , house the homeless -what for? Help the children without parents - don’t be silly. Instead give R41 Million to the company where the daughter of the Lotto's chairman works, now that is an idea. Who needs houses, health care, ARV's, food, shelter, jobs, income, sustainability or growth let shave some Arts Extravaganzas overseas instead!! How these people are not dragged into the streets by those they fail every time they steal from their mouths is beyond me.

  • Cracker - 2011-11-13 17:41

    @ david.dyason above has a point. What's the use of being honest while the rubbish is stealing this country and their co-citizens blind. Something else, time the many churches that sprung up also be investigated with their bank accounts. Reason: Tax evasion for other activities. There is a flourishing under the tax radar economy in operation in this country.

      Fred - 2011-11-13 20:09

      You raise a burning issue. All these religions are simply snake oil peddling businesses and should be taxed like all businesses. Actually they should all be arrested for fraud on a grand scale.

  • Heinrich - 2011-11-13 17:51

    This is just another way the ANC steals from the poor. Poor people-they buy Lotto tickets and think they can win, not only against mathematical odds, but against ANC manipulation.

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-11-13 18:03

    I find it odd that in this country, winners of those multi-million rand lotteries are rarely revealed, all you hear is the "the winning ticket was bought in (insert province here) Most winners would go on some sort of splurge. Where are these people? Where is that money banked because it would be extremely hard to conceal that kind of wealth! The lottery should be transparent and when a winning ticket comes up, it should be revelaled exactly wer that ticket was bought. The old KZN lotto was the most successful lottery of it's day because all of it's funds could be accounted for down to the last cent and every charity that applied for funding was given an equal chance to receive funds. Makes you think!

  • narieman.johnstone - 2011-11-13 18:46

    no comment from eradicate_whitepriviledge??

      FerretGee - 2011-11-13 18:51

      He probably isn't at his work computer!

      Yar - 2011-11-13 20:11

      He is around. I have seen his posts today. He is using the stolen one at home. He must be having difficulty finding any way in which a white person or their ancestors could be involved. Don't worry, he will dig up something completely irrelevant soon.

  • moreirac - 2011-11-13 19:01

    This is just riduculous! Does the farce never end?

  • Iza - 2011-11-13 20:54

    22 years old...filmschool graduate in a marketing executive position??? Best candidate?? Yeah sure. And she holds FOUR directorships??? That's blerrie wonder kids nowadays feel that they can walk into jobs paying the same as people who have the relevant degree and has worked for years on end....It's frustrating to say the least, because people get away with this.

  • Sean - 2011-11-13 21:50

    They are seriously all a bucnch of criminals !!!

  • spookhuis - 2011-11-13 21:50


  • Shane - 2011-11-13 22:09

    This makes me really sad, how can anybody take away money from child welfare and then try to justify it. I really hope hell exists.

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-11-13 22:47

    They're stealing from their own people. Blacks buy Lotto tickets like crazy. This is such a typical African story that I have heard all too often before.

  • Steven - 2011-11-13 22:54

    These people can take their Lotto and shove it where the sun dont shine!!!

  • Cindy - 2011-11-14 12:05

    I work at one of SA's top universities and 2 years after applying to Lottery for funding we can't even get them to acknowledge receipt of our application! This "grant" and the one the NYDA are both the clearest indication that the determining factor for Lotto funding is "connection" not worthiness!

  • Gail - 2011-11-14 13:13

    No wonder these Top Billing stars are able to afford weddings costing R15 million on Mauritius. I'm really not sure who is to blame here - the 22 year old daughter, her father or the Board of executives of the Lotto itself. I wonder if this is how Mabilu got started or Malema. If it isn't and their wealth has been as a result of honest hard work and smarts then we should be demanding that they share this woth their brothers in poverty stricken areas. They could write text books on what methods they used to be used in Schools and give talks on TV about how they made it out of the townships to be wealthier than many middle class white people. This would be African entrepreneurship which we could get behind and support. Not something based on BEE or AA or political connections.

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-14 18:11

    ANC is stealing again, mark my words....

  • John - 2012-01-19 08:19

    I wonder if any of the 4 other companies she is a director of has been granted lotto money ???

  • Paul - 2012-01-19 08:39

    As George Orwell said in his Book 1984 : " All animals are equal BUT some are MORE EQUAL .." .... Need I say more ...?

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